Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Some Green Holiday Gift Ideas!

1. Go Little and buy your honey a new electric, zero pollution car for under $10,000! For your consideration: The Little Radio EV


2. Lather and Rinse! We love the folks at Pangea Organics for the best smelling most wonderful soaps - AND - The packaging of their delectable line of bar soaps contains seeds of flowering Amaranth and the packaging for the facial soaps contain edible Genovese Sweet Basil. That's right friends, instead of tossing the soapbox in the trash, you plant it in a flower pot and let it grow! What's more, all of the packaging for Pangea Organics' soap products are manufactured with zero waste and are created from 100% post-consumer newsprint-without glues and dyes. Now you can work yourself into a lather that actually benefits your skin, your kitchen, and the environment. To get a 15% discount on your purchase, go to Pangea's website and enter the discount code "greenfinds"!!!


3. For the Gadgeteer on your list, plug into the sun and get them a Solio, the coolest ever solar Universal Hybrid Charger! Powerful enough to charge all of your handheld electronic products at home or on the move, anywhere under the sun, it works by absorbing power from either the wall socket or our very own Sun storing this energy within the Solio’s own internal battery. Solio is the universal charger of the future because it can use free energy from the sun which is good for the environment while saving you money on electricity costs. In addition to this, Solio limits your need to purchase and carry around multiple chargers for all of your gadgets; Solio is your one stop charging solution for all of your products from cell phones and iPods, to digital cameras, game players, GPS and even Fish finders!


4. How Green Is Your Bag?? These rugged bags are outfitted with a super flexible solar panel that can charge your handheld devices anywhere you are and everywhere you go! Made from recycled soda bottles, they come in three styles: backpack, daypack, and messenger bag!


5. Gimme Some ROCKS! Don't worry - you can still buy diamonds for your one or more true love(s) without guilt! Just make sure that they are Kimberly Process Certified. The Kimberley Process is a joint government, international diamond industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds - rough diamonds that are used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. The trade in these illicit stones has contributed to devastating conflicts in countries such as Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is an innovative, voluntary system that imposes extensive requirements on Participants to certify that shipments of rough diamonds are free from conflict diamonds. The Kimberley Process is composed of 45 Participants, including the European Community. Kimberley Process Participants account for approximately 99.8% of the global production of rough diamonds.


6. Gimme Some Truth! For the 10 people in America who don't believe that global warming is real, or just to educate your republican friends, buy them a copy of "An Inconvenient Truth", Al Gore's astonishing documentary. Also included on the DVD is a tour of my pal Colette Brooks' house!!! 100% of the profits go to global warming education.


7. GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! Instead of a traditional gift, why not make a donation on behalf of your clients, pals, or family? Here are a couple of my all time favorites!

Started in 1976 by Professor Muhammad Yunus (who just won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize! YAY!) with a mere $27 from his own pocket, Grameen Bank today serves more than six million poor families with loans, savings, insurance and other services. The bank is fully owned by its clients and has been a model for microfinance institutions around the world.

Another financial services fund! The world’s first peer-to-peer, distributed microloan website. The site allows you to lend a small amount of money, say $25, to needy microenterprises in developing countries. You receive repayment at the end of the loan period (normally 6-12 months) without interest. If they default on the loan, your loan becomes a donation – though none of the businesses have defaulted yet.

The classic! Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built and rehabilitated more than 150,000 houses with families in need, becoming a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.

Hungry families from Appalachia to Zambia have used Heifer livestock and training to alleviate hunger and porverty and become self-reliant. Heifer's unique approach also promotes strong communities, sustainability, environmental responsibility, protection, and peace. Choose a meaningful gift to give a loved one and help children and families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant.

Give Bubbah Some Money! The mission of the William J. Clinton Foundation, and the goal of this Initiative, is to increase the benefits and reduce the burdens of global interdependence; to make a world of more partners and fewer enemies; and to give more people the tools they need to build a better future.

Water, water everywhere! This holiday season, you can help children in Africa have fun and be healthy. An ingenious new technology – the PlayPump™ water system – pumps clean water while children play on a merry-go-round. As the children play, water pumps into a storage tank and is easily accessed with the turn of a tap. Access to clean water is a very serious problem for more than 1 billion people. Water-related diseases are the leading cause of death in the world. With your help, we can save lives and bring the benefits of clean water to people throughout Africa.

And finally, right here in our own Santa Monica backyard...OPCC empowers people to rebuild their lives by providing a continuum of care for men, women and children who need assistance in returning to lives of self-sufficiency. In addition to basic emergency services such as food, clothing, showers, bus tokens, etc., the agency’s programs are designed to help individuals access the resources they need to ensure survival, end victimization and improve the quality of their lives. These resources include case management, mental health counseling, transitional housing and permanent housing with supportive services.