The email message I got earlier today enumerated the liters of water and pounds of carbon dioxide produced in the production of the jacket -- even though it's made out of 60 percent recycled material. Only when you really need a jacket, the message said, should you buy one.
So what about all those people you exchange holiday gifts with? Herewith, some ideas:
- Socks. Everyone needs socks, we all wear them out. Buy your loved ones a couple of pairs of really nice socks.
- Food. Ditto; we all eat. Fancy mustard? Stinky cheese? Smoked fish? A basket full of stuff beyond the usual budget that will get eaten and won't clutter closets or go to the landfill unused can make an ecologically sound gift.
- Soap, bath salts, oils and emollients. You know what your potential recipients will actually use; not much ecological sense in buying stuff that will sit around unused for a couple of years and then go to the landfill.
- A gift to charity. Preferably one both you and the recipient think is a worthwhile cause.
- Something home made. Jam, chocolate confections, miniature carrot cakes or banana breads if you're a cook; a scarf or hat if you can crochet or knit; a framed photo or piece of art.
Other ideas for home-made gifts? Other ideas for reducing gift-giving? What do you do with kids? Let me know.