Holiday Gift Wish List: 2010 Edition

There are lots of gift guides out there but there are three holiday wish/ recommendation lists out today that you have to check out Cupcakes and Cutlery, Hank and Hunt, and of course this one.

Our lists are different they blog about how to have awesome parties and fun crafts. This list will give you some green gift ideas… some are for the beginner greenie and other are for those who have been on the green path for a long time, some are things I have while other items are things I want… really want!

The perfect gift for kids: A modern and green Dollhouse. I want to get this dollhouse for my daughter mostly because I love it. This is the Brinca Dada Bennett townhouse. First it is not plastic, that is always great but this is like a LEED certified type of dollhouse The townhouse features a two-story living room, elevator, roof top pool and glass rail balconies in both the master bedroom and children’s bedroom. Solar-powered LED lights make for play by sun or moon. And Bennett House is made of CARB-certified woods and non-toxic, lead-free paints and stains, so it is easy on the environment.

For cooks: the best gift is a gift pack of grass feed beef from LaCense beef and some great barbecue tools. I love LaCense beef, it tastes great and more natural than anything you have ever had before… A true foodie would appreciate it. If you really want to turn up the green meter for a gift for a cook get them a solar oven! I have told my husband that I really want to get one and he laughs at me EVERY time. But think about it in the heat of the summer the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on in your house.

energy-wise landscape design
For the Gardener or New Homeowner: the book Energywise Landscape by Sue Reed is perfect for the experienced gardener and the beginner. It is amazing how many things you can do to make your landscape energy efficient. The book is laid out in a way that explains how things work. The book also offers you many different options to achieve the same thing.
Complimentary gifts: gardening tools, gift certificate to the local nursery, rain barrel (so they can collect the rain water to water their new landscape), or even better some of your time in the early Spring to help them do the work!

For EVERYONE: an iPad. I wrote an entire post on how green the iPad is and I stand by it. Oprah just gave them to everyone too. I have used signficantly less paper by canceling my newspaper subscription, renewing my magazine subscriptions as digital subscriptions, and purchasing my books through the countless e-reader apps you can download including Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Apple’s iBook (still not sure which one I like the best).
Complementary gifts: an iTunes gift card for apps, a cover (everyone makes them you can find them anywhere but I prefer the Apple cover for mine)

And for my final WISH LIST item… the Chevy Volt!

Really I mean what want to be environmentalist would not want this car. It is cooler looking than the Prius for one and it is the Motor Trend Car of the year (ok, that is not really a reason for me but….) and it completely electric. To be honest I have no idea how I would plug it in, my 120 plus year old house hardly has enough plugs for my computer, blackberry and iPad forget about a CAR but I want one… I really do. They start at $41,000 so I think I will have to be a really good girl for Santa, my husband and everyone I ever met for them to chip in to buy this for me. I wish I had a million readers and Chevy gave me one to drive and blog about my experince. Anyone out there at Chevy reading this contact me.  Complimentary gifts: extension cord and cool bumper stickers.

Bonus: I also created a whole list of awesome Chronicle Book, check out the list and leave a comment for a chance to win every book on the list as part of the Happy Haulidays giveaway.

Hope everyone has a great holiday and that shopping for your gifts are fun… try not to wrap your gifts, put your gifts in a canvas bag your family and friends can re-use… The Volt won’t fit in a bag though?! Hmmm?

Want to follow some cool people on Twitter and Facebook… here are the details on my fellow bloggers:

Cupcakes and Cutlery: @cupcakescutlery and facebook like Cupcakes and Cutlery

Hank and Hunt: @hankandhunt

Green4u: @greenforu and Facebook like me Green4u

Photo credits: Town House from Brinca Dada, Energy Wise Landscaping from Sue Reed, iPad from Apple, Chevy Volt from and Chevy

My Green Road Trip

No I am not doing a road trip in a hybrid or ethanol fueled vehicle… I am car pooling. I would say extreme carpooling the way this trip is turning out. 6 people need to get to Nantucket… two live in the Midwest… none of us own an SUV (can you believe it).

The four people who live in the area (a few hours away from Nantucket) are going to drive in one of our cars to the airport in Rhode Island and pick up the other two people. Then we are going to park the car at the airport and rent a car (or get a limo…looking to be cheaper?) to put us all in and get to the ferry. We will then travel with even more people to get to the island on the ferry. THEN, we will not have a car while we are there so we will walk or carpool to the events of the weekend.  Once the weekend is over we will reverse this back home.

This saves us from flying there which besides being very expensive and saves our carbon emissions that contribute a massive amount to our carbon footprint. It also saves at least two separate car loads of drivers.  There is alot to be said for this amount of savings but it does not come without alot of work. There was the coordination of our departure time to get to the airport in enough time to meet our other friends and then coordinating the ferry times…etc.

It would have been a lot easier if any of us owned an SUV because then that person would have been responsible for the driving but at least we do not guzzle gas the rest of the time. The limo is not the greenest thing we could do (it has to drive back to where it came from) but it was actually more economical than renting a larger car at the airport and parking it so we all had think about our wallets because other parts of the trip are costly (hotel, ferry, and flight for our other friends).

Planning this trip does show that some of the things that seemed expensive in the past are now part of our options like car pooling, renting a bigger car so more people can go together, and even limo rides (if we had more than 6 people involved in this plan we would have had to have gotten a limo to all fit in one car). The limo industry really needs to take notice that they have a growing market.

Interesting Environmental Facts

In researching and preparing to write this blog I have come past various facts that in and of themselves do not warrant their own post so I have been keeping a running list. Since I love little facts and you never know when you will have the opportunity to discuss them with a friend I wanted to share them with you. My husband will particularly like #2 as several years ago I blurted out the fact about the pick-up truck being the best selling car in the US and he STILL makes fun of me about it.

  1. In 2007 $1.6 billion of jet fuel was burned by planes waiting in line to take off at airports. That’s 740 million gallons of fuel. That is 7.1 million metric tons of CO2.
  2. The Ford 415 is NOT the #1 selling car this year (as it has been for the last 17 years) it is now the #4 car with Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, and Toyota Corolla taking the top spots.
  3. London Olympic Stadium is being designed to be demountable, so that it can be sold after the games. Organizers also note that it could be “the first step in a new approach to the games, which could become more like a travelling circus to keep costs down and allow poorer countries to play host.” London is talking to possible 2016 host Chicago because “both cities have decided to build main stadiums with small numbers of permanent seats while erecting giant seating scaffolds for the two weeks of competition. Talks have focused on how London’s stadium might be bolted rather than welded together, ensuring the materials used allow it to function properly in another country and climate, and how sections might fit on a cargo ship.” (from
  4. Americans weigh about 24 more pounds per person than we did in the 1970s. That weight, when we’re driving, has to be moved around with our cars. Multiplied over the three trillion miles driven in America each year, suddenly we need a lot of gas to move around our extra chub. If we could (preferably through walking and biking) lose those 24 lbs and reach 1970’s sizes, America would used nearly one billion gallons of gas lessthan we currently do. (from
  5. 60,000 plastic bags are used in the US every 5 seconds!! (from
  6. 2,000,000 plastic bottles are used in the US every 5 minutes. (from
  7. 12% of Earths plant species could be extinct in the next 20 years. (from

I hope to do this kind of post on a regular basis I think alot can be said by looking at these facts. Eventhough I wrote a post about using canvas bags instead of getting a plastic bag at the store it hits you even more when you see the fact above. I hope you found these as interesting as I did.