Showing posts from December, 2010

Planet-friendly Parties

By Elizabeth Barker for Green Goes Simple

By making a few easy changes to your party-planning strategy, you can cut back on waste, reduce your use of natural resources and even slash your spending budget. Here, Green Chic author Christie Matheson serves up eight tips for eco-fabulous entertaining:

1. Ditch the disposable goods and use your own tableware. Not enough to go around? Consider renting what you need or borrowing from a friend. You can also check your local chapter of, an online community where members give away used household items.

2. Hold off on shopping for new serving platters, punch bowls and cocktail plates. "Before you buy anything for your party, see if you can borrow what you need from friends or unearth any hidden treasures from that box of stuff your grandmother gave you," suggests Matheson. If you do need to hit the store, swing by your favorite thrift shop or purchase new pieces made from sustainable materials (such as recycled glass or …

The Quest for Eco-friendly Toys

By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple

For the first year and a half of my son’s life, he was content to play with an empty shoe box or a handful of crinkly scraps of wrapping paper.

This didn’t stop me from filling his shelves with a variety of green toys -- that is, toys that are made in a sustainable manner. I’m always in search of the next great multitasking moment, and green toys simultaneously satisfied my desire to protect the planet -- they’re made with natural, recycled or reclaimed materials -- and my child.

Since babies experience things by biting, sucking and drooling on them, I looked for playthings that were made without toxic glues, paints or varnishes and that were composed primarily of natural fibers or wood. It turns out that greener toys also often encourage kids to use their imaginations: Without flashing lights, music and sparkling colors, a little one is left to stretch his creativity.

Green toy companies like Plan Toys (, MiYim ( and Sprig…

Dreaming of a Green Christmas? Here's Our 2010 Green Gift Guide Just For You!

Last year, I scoured the internet to find the best green gifts and shared the coolest ones with you!  I've updated the list to include some really cool new finds.  There's something for everyone on this list.  I've included links so that you can buy online (the greener way to go!), so enjoy!
Under $10 Natural Burnished Bamboo Utensil Set (pictured)- a great eco-friendly household gift.      Natural Handmade Soap - Great to have around the kitchen.  This soap removes offensive odors left behind by onions, fish, garlic, etc. Organic Bath Salts in Lavender- A lavish earth-friendly treat.  Lavender is known for its soothing powers. All Natural 100% Vegan Soap- This moisturizing soap contains shea butter and coconut oil and comes in delicious scents like lavendar and peach.Recycled Album Cover Notecards- This is a really unique stocking-stuffer for the music lover in your life.  They have a range of artists- from Stevie Nicks to Marvin Gaye.Recycled Glass Earrings- You don't…

Dreaming Of A Green Christmas: Save More Green $ This Holiday Season

'Tis the season for spending!  Most of  us buy, buy, buy during this time of the year.  I'm challenging you to reduce, reuse and of course, recycle this holiday season.  In doing so, you'll not only have a sustainable Christmas, but you'll save money, too!
So, how do I have a "Green" Christmas?  Check out these green holiday tips below:

Christmas Tree- Approximately 35 million Christmas trees are sold in the United States and Canada every year.  Wouldn't it be great if everyone recycled their live tree?  Check for your local resource.Cardboard boxes- Corrugated cardboard is used for packaging, shipping and most popularly, pizza!  Cardboard is naturally biodegradable, but also easily recycled.  Before you recycle cardboard, make sure it's not wet or soiled by food or oil.  In other words, you may be able to recycle the tops of your pizza boxes, but not the greasy bottom part.Gift Bags- You'll especially want to recycle the ones …

Dreaming Of A Green Christmas? 8 Ways To Green Your Holidays

Make your Christmas tree green!  The easiest and most eco-sound way to decorate your home for Christmas is to buy a living tree.  Once Christmas is over, you can either replant the tree, or recycle it.  Check for your local resource.Recycle your wrapping paper, cards, envelopes and boxes.  While wrapping paper that contains foil cannot be recycled, you can reuse wrapping paper from year to year if care is taken to neatly fold and store it until the following year.  You can also compost it, crumple it and use it in lieu of tissue paper.Switch to LED Christmas lights. Most of us know how super-efficient LED lights are, so why not use them for the holidays?  LED Christmas lights use up to 90% less energy than traditional lights.  That more than makes up for the initial additional cost!Make or buy recycled ornaments.  Up through the mid-1800’s, almost all Christmas ornaments were handmade.  Families would make o…

Shop At Payless? You Can Help Plant 1 Billion Trees!

'Tis the season for giving!  Most of us would be willing to part with two dollars for a good cause, especially if we got a little something in return.  When you purchase this cute, yellow and silver reusable tote for only $1.99, Payless will contribute $1.00 to The Nature Conservancy's Plant A Billion Trees Campaign.  Payless will give $1.00 for every tote sold between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10, so you still have time.  For 2010, Payless will make a minimum contribution of at least $100,000.00!
If you'd like to learn more about the Plant a Billion Trees Campaign, visit The Nature Conservancy's