Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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It's effing bananas outside here in nyc with 50mph winds and practically hot rain. The first of December, can you believe it?

I ran into someone this morning who commented on the "insane" weather we're having and it brought me right back to brooding about the environment and how royally fucked up it is.

That, combined with all the overwhelmingly annoying retail jargon going on in the mainstream media (cyber monday hit a new traffic record!) has led me to my own little holiday gift guide which is almost 100% earth friendly:

PLANTS! Why not wrap a little begonia or african violet in burlap and ribbon or newspaper and twine and write out a thoughtful card including instructions on how to care for it. I'd like to get that. I mean, if I had room for another begonia. Which I don't.

Or a tree? Or some bulbs. Tulip bulbs. No? Paperwhites?
Pet rock perhaps?...

I love to hear your thoughts on eco-gifts. Is it just another way of selling shit lately? By calling something eco-friendly. Sometimes it feels like it to me.

13 comments:

megan said...

calling something "eco-friendly" as a sales tool has been bugging me for a long time now. Plants are good. Handmade is good. Small is good. Buying something ridiculous and overpriced and extravagant that claims to be eco-friendly is just dumb.

Lisa said...

Handmade is great. I'm making jam this year. My family is forgoing gifts and doing a cookie exchange this year. Money is tight for everyone and it feels so liberating to not have to run out and buy, buy, buy.

Caroline said...

For the last three years, only the kids get 'real' gifts in our family (and even for them we try to encourage ONE small present as opposed to bringing home the entire store). Other than that, we exchange homemade foods, a lunch date for the husband, babysitting; basically, time together, something memorable. And as Lisa said, it is so liberating! And eco-friendly ...

theflowerdrum said...

I get more joy out of buying a plant than a new dress! ha! I totally want to gift people with plants this christmas! Its a present that will last for ever (if they dont kill it)

Mary Hudson said...

a not so kitchen savvy brother will be getting step by step instructions for food I make everyday and some key ingredients that probably aren't in his pantry.
parents are getting heirloom seeds and a d.i.y. yearly almanac for their garden.
I am so tired of buying useless items.

What Possessed Me said...

I like to make little paperwhite growing kits - bulbs, pebbles and a pickle jar wrapped in pretty fabric or burlap.

Fleurish said...

I guess eco friendly would mean not buying anything at all or... recycling. I've collected metal tin's over a period of time and will be filling each tin with Trinidadian Black Cake. I think it will go well with everyone.

Ringo, have a banana! said...

I definitely think the most "eco-friendly" solution would be to just not give gifts at all, even the homemade type! But I just love the tradition of holiday gifting and, yes, holiday shopping, because it is the one time of the year when I feel like I can justify throwing caution to the wind (well, not entirely, never!) and just get something fun, something small yes, but not necessarily practical, for someone, just because I think it will make them smile or laugh or so they can hang it on the wall or drink coffee out of it.

That said, my best solution is to find just one, or maybe two very small, things to give. And to put as much thought and care into the gifts as possible. I absolutely HATE it when I can tell that someone's just gone to the mall and grabbed something so they can feel like they "gave me something." I'd rather they give me nothing, or plant a tree for me or something, bah! I do feel guilty sometimes, because I am contributing to the waste of consumerism, even if I'm not the most heinous offender. But I do try and make up for it the rest of the year. And I ALWAYS, always recycle. Obsessively. :n )

shellie said...

i have to agree with your comment about eco friendly...however i always try to do handmade gifts...yes small gifts are also the best...and gertrude jekyll rose bushes!

skong said...

repurposing old wool sweaters into coffee sleeves and felted balls to string or glue

Elizabeth said...

My favorite eco gift is a massage gift certificate. Angel Feet anyone? Or like Sarah said, plants. I gave my old boyfriend a plant once and he threw it out. Before it was dead! Dumped!

Sarah said...

CRAZY COMMENT FROM BLOG OWNER;

1. lisa - i missed you on monday? i saw on twitter you tried to come by - so sorry

2. i'm with you all on the handmade/recycled bit. i'm actually all for the not-gift giving bit too at least for adults. i'm lucky that in my small family we are able to avoid gifts almost altogether*. so many other ways to celebrate and be festive. although there is a strange side of me that loves shoping - LOVES TO SHOP and in fact I found myself outside Bergdorf Goodman's yesterday oogling the VanCleef diamond display. I mean, the decadence of some of that shit is INCREDIBLE.

Love the paperwhite idea
Love the jam idea
Love the massage idea LOVE THAT
Seeds I love with the almanac
Felting old sweaters into coffee warmers, love.
Anything baked I love. I actually get so crazy around the holidays that any food item given to me becomes like gold. HINT.

Then of course there is the other side of this coin to consider; which is the economy. And that our $$ spent actually supports the big picture of success in this country, and ultimately lots of our jobs. Sort of a conundrum. Which I suppose puts the real burden on companies to make eco-friendly goods. And we're back to square one...


*Except of course that I absolutely expect my boyfriend to get me something from Erie Basin every year and that will never change EVER

Lisa said...

No worries! I will be back. Or maybe pick up one at Bird?