Friday, December 30, 2011

Tis the Season - to Freecycle

T'is the Season to Freecycle!

 With the holidays nearing their end ...and the new year coming on, it's a great time to purge and Freecycle!  Freecycle DC is a great place to find or advertise goods you want or want to get rid of.  You can opt out of the emails - or just get the daily journal if you want to minimize traffic. Craig's List DC also has a FreeSection.  But, even a walk around your neighborhood might render some great gems!  My dog and I found this grill on a morning walk.  One of the 5(!) burners was broken, so it was being thrown out! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Give Locally!

Day 12
So during this time of giving, don’t forget a gift – or your time to your favorite local charity.  With the economic downturn, contributions to most charities are down, and the smaller non-profits operating on shoe string budgets really feel the pinch.  DC has a wealth of charitable organizations that address a wide variety of causes:  Food&Friends provides and delivers cooked meals to people with life threatening diseases, Martha’s Table provides food, clothing and educational opportunities to at risk folks, Street Sense helps get homeless folks back on their feet; and the Washington Animal Rescue League and the Washington Humane Society find homes for rescued pets.  There are many more!  Help make DC a better place for all of us!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ditch (even more) Plastic!

Day 11
Plastic containers are petroleum based, and some contain Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Bisphenol A (BPA) which are now being questioned for their impact both on the environment and human health.  Glass and stainless steel storage bowls are a great green storage option – and are great containers for taking lunch to work.  I’m amazed how many people still microwave in a plastic container.  Glass is microwavable and it’s a much better option than microwaving plastic.  Take one of these along with you on your next dine out, and forego the Styrofoam doggie bag.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Occupy DC businesses…buy it LOCALLY!!

DAY 10
Whatever you buy this holiday season, buy it locally and support DC owned businesses.  The City Paper has a great DC local shopping guide and the search engine will help you buy things locally…though most of their businesses seem to be major retailers. Pay in cash, and the proprietors will appreciate you even more - as they'll avoid the credit card fee they have to pay on every transaction.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Make your own sparkling water!

Get some plastic bottles out of your…or someone else’s life by getting them a machine that makes fizzy water.  There are lots of brands out there these days..Soda Stream seems to be the most popular brand.  Buy one locally instead of on line! Hill's Kitchen is just one of many local stores that carries these!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Day 8
I’m on my soapbox again, but composting has cut my trash by more than ½.  I now only have trash to put out only once a month, and that’s not enough to fill a garbage bag.  A kitchen composter with a charcoal filter makes a great gift. If you can’t have a compost bin outside, consider buying a gift certificate to Compost Cab or FatWorm Compost who will pick up your goods weekly or more ( see far right side board of this blog for more compost options)!

Monday, December 12, 2011

iPad/iPhone covers - Cork it!

Day 7
So, you know that buying wine with REAL corks is the right thing to do…and you’ve been recycling your (real) wine corks 4eeeever…so what comes of it?  Walk the upcycle talk and buy one of these cork iPad/iPhone cork covers.  Uncommon Goods has a plethora ….no, better said – a cornucopia of great upcycled products!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

E-Tip Gloves

Day 6
Keep your hands warm AND use your touch screen!  E-tip gloves will allow you to use any touch screen - iPhone, iPad and Kindle.  Most models have an e-tip enabled thumb and index finger.  They're available from a wide variety of retailers including REI. Search for "A-gloves" and "E-tips".   Sweeeeet!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Pressure Cooker

Day 5
While not the most romantic of gifts, if you’re looking for an energy saving and practical gift for someone who likes to cook, you can’t go wrong with a pressure cooker.  See my November 26th posting touting the wonders of these devices:  soaked beans cook in 7 minutes, artichokes in 10 and carrots in 2.  It’s a great fast way to make winter soups or your own baby food.  They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes these days. And, it might even be a great conversation starter for you and your (future) mother-in-law!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Flannel Sheets !!

Day 4
They come in a wide variety of colors…and they’ll keep you toasty warm while allowing you to turn the thermostat waaaaaaaaaaaay down at night, saving you lots of $$$$...and cutting down on your carbon footprint.  Program your thermostat to warm up the house 15 minutes before you wake up..and you’ll never even notice the difference!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Give some of your time. Homemade gift certificates for child or pet sitting, dog walks (hint, hint), housecleaning, cooking lessons, closet reorganizing, coffee dates, car washing, snow shoveling, language lessons, dinner, massages, a lift to the airport, bike maintenance, a trip to Value Village…you get the idea .. make great gifts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Rechargeable batteries have evolved considerably (and gone down in price). Available in AA and AAA sizes, they're a great stocking stuffer.  Rechargeable Hybrid Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries come fully charged and can hold a charge over many months.  A quick and unscientific web survey of best rechargeable batteries around found the Sanyo Eneloop to be a fave.  HYBRID is a word you should look for as these batteries can hold their charge over time (for low drain items like remotes and flashlights) but can take frequent use of high-drain devices like digital cameras.  This article provides a great overview of the best rechargeable batteries and chargers. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Announcing - 12 days of Green Gifting Ideas

The DCR is attempting a 12 days of Christmas, Hanukkah a/o Kwanzaa – a list of green and environmentally friendly gift options.  The 12 days may not be consecutive, but I hope to get in at least 12 options before the 25th.  And the 1st Day option…..drumroll, please…………………
Day 1    
Give to those in need.  Most of us have far too much stuff and our true needs are few.  Yet there are plenty out there in the US and around the world that are truly living from one day to the next.  Oxfam America, World Neighbors and Heifer International ..among others ..provide great and creative options that allow you to give anything from art supplies for a school, a share of a water buffalo, a hive of honey bees, alternative pesticide or HIV education to folks around the world.  If you get your order in early enough, each organization will send you a card representing your gift.  Do it!