I was trying to figure out how to divert to good works some of the money usually spent on holiday gifts to The Offspring, and (I'm slow) eventually it occurred to me to talk to him about it.
First he wanted to know if he was still going to get some presents. Yes. Then he wanted to know what charities I had in mind, and I told him about Toys for Tots and the Heifer Project.
"The ASPCA," he said.
Okay then. That's where that's going.
I'm now thinking that the same conversations with other usual gift recipients might be the way to go, rather than trying to choose on their behalf.
Also: check out this good article from Treehugger on connections between household budget and sustainable living. The most important point, I think, is that actions on an individual level (switching to CFLs, forgoing the cheeseburger, even buying an electric car) are not going to be enough.
We need to work toward systemic change, toward changing the ways that everything from local governments to international businesses work.