Sunday, December 26, 2010

12 Days of GREEN! Day 12: Reuse Holiday Cards

Day 12: Reuse the Holiday Cards!

Instead of throwing away all the paper holiday cards you received this year, reuse them to make gift tags for next year's gifts!  Cut the card cover or any portion of the decorative graphics into the shape of a gift tag (any size, shape is good) - punch a hole in one end and thread some used ribbon or string through the hole.  Check out this site for more instructions and slide show: (Thanks, Inhabitots!)

Here is another idea for reusing holiday cards and ribbon to make decorations for next year (Thanks!):

And if you just want to get rid of your cards here's another idea: Donate them to St. Jude's Card Recycling Program:

You send your greeting cards (for any holiday) to St. Jude's and they turn the covers into new cards available for purchase!  Just make sure there is no writing on the cover (they can only use the cover) and they cannot use cards made by Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards.  5" x 7" size or smaller is preferred.

You can mail your donations to: St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

(Thanks, Green Kids!

Got any other ideas?  List them in the comments section below.
Thanks and hope you enjoyed the 12 Days of GREEN!!

12 Days of GREEN! Day 11: Green your Table - part 2!

Day 11: Green what you put on the table!

'Tis the season for cookies, treats, casseroles and roast beast!  It's inevitable and just an integral part of great family meals and holiday parties. Try to green what you put on the table AND what you eat by balancing all the great holiday foods with some great seasonal veggies.  Maybe using a veggie or two that you don't normally serve will make it more festive.  I personally love sauteed brussel sprouts!  I hated them as a kid, but then again they were always boiled, soggy and bland!  I went to a Mario Batali restaurant several years ago and had the most amazing sauteed brussel sprouts with shaved pecorino cheese that completely changed my attitude toward the the little mini cabbages!  I recreated the dish and often serve it as a side when the sprouts are in season or on sale and also for my family during the holidays.  Everyone loves them!  Here's what I do:
Get fresh brussel sprouts - firm and clean looking and slice them 1 or 2 times to form thick slices.
Sautee them in a hot pan or wok with a tablespoon of butter or 2 Tbspns of olive oil and 1 large clove of garlic, minced.  Saute over high heat about 5 mins or so, making sure to brown the brussel sprouts (those who watch Food Network as often as I, til they are caramelized) to bring out the good nutty flavor.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.  When done, sprinkle in about 1/4 cup minced or grated pecorino cheese (more or less depending on your taste but remember that these cheeses are more salty so don't add too much salt).  You can also substitute parmesano-romano or assiago cheese.  Toss in and serve.  To add a festive touch, you can also add toasted pine nuts (my fav!) or toasted hazelnuts - this really brings out the nuttiness of the brussel sprouts!

If you have a great veggie recipe that you like to serve around the holidays, please leave a comment below to share!


Friday, December 24, 2010

12 Days of GREEN! Day 10: Green your Table!

Day 10: Green Your Holiday Table - Part 1

Preserve By Recycline Small Pear Green Plates, 10-Count Bags (Pack of 4)As many of us celebrate the Holidays with family and friends, there are sure to be parties and gatherings with lots of food and treats.  One way we can reduce waste is to eliminate the need for paper and plastic products that get used once and thrown away.  Set out reusable plates, cups and utensils or purchase recycled products that can be recycled again or are biodegradable.  If you don't have enough of your own dishes to use and need to buy disposable ones, Preserve makes a great line of products made from recycled materials.  They have very sturdy plates and utensils and fantastic cups that you can wash and reuse. And they also come in great bright colors to make your table look festive! You can find them at your local Whole Foods (or if your party is next week, you can order them here).  Please reuse whenever possible!

Preserve Everyday Cups 16-Ounce Set of 4, Apple Green Preserve Everyday Cups 16-Ounce Set of 4, Pepper RedPreserve, Cutlery Apple Green , 24-Pack  Preserve By Recycline Pear Green Cutlery, 24-Count Bags (Pack of 6)  Preserve Everyday Plates 9-1/2-Inch  Set of 4, Midnight Blue On the Go Plate, Small (7"), 10-count, Midnight Blue Everyday Plate, 9.5", 4-count, Pepper Red Preserve Square Storage Container, Set of Two, Apple Green

Enjoy your Holidays!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of GREEN! Day 9: Clean Green!

Day 9: Clean Green for the Holidays!

method All Purpose Surface Cleaner, Cucumber 28 fl oz (828 ml)
Give your home and family the gift of green  by using Eco-Friendly cleaners and natural alternatives.
Using cleaning products that do not contain harmful chemicals (Chlorine, ammonia, hydrochloric acid) will leave your home free of dangerous fumes and surfaces free of chemicals that will no doubt end up on hands and in mouths.  Also - using cleaning products that are not made with petroleum products will help our environment by reducing our dependence on petroleum.  Here are a couple of the most dangerous products that you should not use (especially if you have children):

CHLORINE: Enemy #1 is Chlorine and Chlorine Bleach.  For many years bleach cleaners have been very popular because of their whitening and bacteria-killing abilities and because it is cheap. Chlorine is a leading cause of breast cancer and can be lethal. Scientists won't handle chlorine without protective gloves, face masks, and ventilation, yet it is found in many store-brand cleaners. The harmful effects are intensified when the fumes are heated, as in the shower and if you don't have strong air circulation - ever clean your bathroom with shower cleaner that contains bleach then felt light-headed?  Never mix bleach with acid toilet bowl cleaners or ammonia. These mixtures may produce fumes which can be DEADLY.
DISHWASHER DETERGENTS: Most products contain chlorine in a dry form that is highly concentrated. The #1 cause of household poisoning is dish detergent. Look out for dishwashing liquids are labeled "harmful if swallowed." Each time you wash your dishes, some residue is left on them, which accumulates with each washing. Your food picks up part of the residue -- especially if your meal is hot when you eat it.

AMMONIA: is a very volatile chemical and is very damaging to your eyes, respiratory tract and skin.
OVEN CLEANER: one of the most toxic products people use. They contain lye and ammonia, which eat the skin, and the fumes linger and affect the respiratory system. Then there ís the residue that's intensified the next time you turn your oven on. Use sea salt and baking soda instead - sprinkle these on the oven surfaces when it is still hot - then wipe away when it is cold.

Baking soda should be your best friend!  It can be used to whiten tiles and counter tops, used to scrub because of it's gritty-ness, and it absorbs odors too!  It helps to release hard, stuck-on greasy messes on pots and pans too - sprinkle some on the pan while it is still warm, let sit a while, then scrub away.

Check out this website filled with many ways to use baking soda and vinegar:

Many store bought brands are safer and made without harmful chemicals like Seventh Generation, Method, Mrs. Meyers and many more.  Here are some you can purchase here:
Seventh Generation Products - Seventh Generation - Green Mandarin & Leaf Shower Cleaner, 32 oz. Spray Bottle - Sold As 1 Each - A daily cleaner that leaves your shower sparkling. - Ideal for preventing soap scum buildup in your shower caused by mold and mildew. - Nontoxic, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. - Does not create harsh fumes. - Use daily for best results.Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir Scent, 32-Ounces Bottle (Pack of 8)Tub & Tile Spray Euclyptis 28 OuncesMethod Laundry Detergent Free + Clear- 50 Loads, 20 Ounce Bottlemethod Multi-Surface Cleaner, Ginger Yuzu 28 fl oz (828 ml)

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Surface Scrub, Lavender, 11-Ounce Canisters (Case of 6)Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Dish Soap, Lavender, 16-Ounce Bottles (Case of 6)Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Spring Clean Up Kit, Snap Pea ScentMrs. Meyer's Clean Day Auto Dishwashing Packs, Basil (Pack of 6)

Don't forget to join in on the Green Holiday Blog Hop:

Happy Green Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12 Days of GREEN! Day 8: Green Gift Cards

Day 8: Green Gift Cards

As online shopping is winding down, if you are still looking for a gift for that hard to shop for person, a gift card is often the best gift.  You can save time, energy and gas required to drive, and even the plastic by purchasing a gift card that you can either print out at home or send as an email and new this year, you can send it through Facebook! has a great selection of styles to make the traditional gift card look more festive!  Amazon has the World's Largest Selection so your recipient can choose from millions of great gifts that they REALLY want!  You can also get a gift card in any amount and choose the style and even have the delivery scheduled to arrive right on Christmas morning.

Click HERE for Gift Card Central

Did you know that you can also get gift cards for these popular stores?  Check them out:

ITunes Gift Card AMC Theatres Gift Card GameStop Gift Card The Home Depot Crate Gift Card Fandango Gift Card JCPenney Merry Christmas Gift Card

By the way, it's not too late to order something with free 2-day shipping (Today) or $3.99 1-day shipping (tomorrow).

Thanks for following the 12 Days of Green!  I'm a little behind but hope to post more great ideas this week to make your Holiday more GREEN!  BTW - this has been a real challenge for me - I've never been able to do a post every day so thanks also for keeping me on my toes!

Happy Holidays!!