First published on November 26, 2007
Shake those winter blues and have a personally socially responsible (PSR?) Christmas this year!
Don’t use traditional wrapping paper as it cannot be recycled. Instead, the Winter 2007 edition of Granville Magazine suggests giving gifts in reusable shopping bags (such as those by Solegear Design). It also suggests looking into furoshiki, which is origami-meets-fabric art. The Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan has a even posted a PDF guide on how to wrap presents, furoshiki style. Or hey, just use paper bags or shoe boxes and decorate them — at least they provide more of a blank canvas than newspaper! For the even more adventurous, why not use a cereal box (a friendly Cheerios bee?) or a tissue box (a nice floral pattern)? And it’s what’s inside that counts anyway, right, both inside the wrapping and inside the person
Give the “green” alternative to the Entertainment Book: Green Zebra Vancouver. There are savings in the book for places with sustainable food, clothing, service (like spa stuff), and other (like paint) initiatives.
For the friends who appreciate benevolence, donate some money to a worthy charity in their names. Or, convince each other to check out Kiva.org, an innovative setup where you can give interest-free micro-loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world.
Spend your free time expanding your vocabulary while donating rice. At FreeRice, whenever you get a vocabulary question right, corporate sponsors donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to hungry people. I wish the corporations would just donate the rice regardless, but hey, if this is what spurs generosity, I won’t complain.
Putting up Christmas lights? Put both indoor and outdoor lights on a timer. Do people need to see your lights at 3am? (Submitted by Julia).
Failing all of that, just donate to your local food bank or give some jackets or socks to those who need them!
Got any other tips? Let me know!