Friday, November 14, 2008

Conscious Giving

Below I have posted a letter I wrote indicating my desire to be environmentally conscious this holiday season. I'm sharing it here for two reasons. First to enlighten those I did not directly sent it to. And second, to hopefully help others to share their convictions on such matters. I would invite those interested to share this letter with their families (either like is or edited to fit you). I put alot of time, research and thought and really want to share it. While the wording is almost entirely my own, I do need to credit Jenn Savedge author of "The Green Parent." You can check out her blog at
May this holiday season be full of thanksgiving as we both give and receive the gifts and blessings of each other.

Dearest Family and Friends,

In the past year I worked at being conscious of my daily life habits, especially in terms of spending and consuming,  and their effects on the environment and the world as a whole. As the holiday approaches, I am driven to continue to be conscious of these habits. Thus I want to find ways to continue with holiday traditions and celebrations while still being environmentally friendly. While I am not asking you to change the way you celebrate the holidays, I would greatly appreciate you respect in my beliefs and convictions. Therefore, I'm asking you to follow some simple guidelines when considering giving gifts to myself and my children.

  • Shop Preloved: Preloved items are wonderful because as the saying goes One Person's Junk is Another's Treasure. When shopping for pre-owed items please consider what we need or want. If we have no use for it than we are less likely to appreciate the gift. This is not fair to you or us. Also be sure that items are in Good Used Condition without ripes, holes, or missing or broken pieces.
  • Shop Local: Buying local not only boosts your local economy it also reduces emissions and packaging involved in shipping.
  • Shop Recycled: Look for items that contain recycled materials. Also along these lines, look for items with limited to no packaging and packaging can be recycled.
  • Unplug: Try to avoid gifts that require electricity or batteries. 
  • Make It Yourself: If you have the skills create a homemade gift. We'll love it.
  • No-Waste Gifts: Gift cards, tickets (movies, theater, etc), or club memberships would be wonderful.

Finally when shopping for new toys please look for the following.
  • Simple toys- without batteries that foster creativity and stimulate imaginative play
  • Natural materials- such as wood
    (sustainable certified), bioplastic toys (plastic made from natural base components such as corn) or cloth (organic when possible). Look for solid-woods, as pressed wood is made with a glue that gives
    off toxic fumes, and
    nontoxic paints.
  • Avoid PVC plastic (aka polyvinyl chloride)

I thank you in advance for being considerate of my requests. If you want ideas as to where to look for items I have listed some website at the bottom.
We so deeply appreciate all the generosity and love you have shown our family. I look forward to seeing many of you this holiday season.

With lots of love,

Preloved items- - search your city or neighboring cities - go the the FSOT forum- great for  kid stuff

Eco friendly businesses for everyone-

Kids & toys- - a Newton based, mother owned store - you may choose In Store Pick-Up and I will pick up and bring to where we are celebrating


Allison said...

This is an admirable request, Kristin. And I am guessing you and your family will give and receive beautiful, thoughtful gifts this holiday season.

Have you seen I came upon it once while looking for eco-friendly or fair trade products and saved it. There's some neat kids' stuff on there.

Kristin said...

Great website. Thanks!