5 Ways Celebrate Earth Day 2018

The 48th Annual Earth Day 2018 is fast approaching on Sunday, April 22, 2018. Lately, it feels the earth is screaming at us to wake up; massive earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires ravaged North America last year. Scientists report that our drinking water supplies are being contaminated by microplastics, YouTube videos show us the damage that our plastic habit has on our ocean life and we hear the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is larger than previously thought (specifically, 3x the size of France).Read More »

Let’s Rethink How We Give Gifts at Christmas

The holidays have become a time for taking on debt in order to honor the “time-honored” tradition of giving gifts at the holidays. CNBC reported in November that many American still have credit card debt from last Christmas. However, according to this article in The Atlantic, the tradition of gift giving at the holidays started after our country was founded and it was originally focused in giving gifts to children only. Obviously, that changed over time and we now give gifts to not only our children, but our families, friends and often co-workers. This change has been driven largely by retail who want to encourage us to spend more money to grow their profits and this is a great year for them as sales are up from last year.

While it is good for retail, I’m not convinced that the growth of this annual spending frenzy is helpful to the rest of society. The problem that I see with the proliferation of gift giving is twofold. Read More »

Eco-Friendly Ways to Wrap Gifts at the Holidays

I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas. Growing up, I loved the decorations, baking Christmas cookies, picking out a Christmas tree with my family, listening to Christmas carols and of course, the gifts. My sister was the master gift wrapper in our house and made a game out of gift wrapping. She became known for creating a Russian dolls of boxes; wrapping a gift in a small box, then putting that in a bigger box and that box in an even bigger one, each covered in a layer of wrapping paper and then often, a layer of clear packing tape to make it impossible to open. As I grew older and became more aware of the waste that we as a family were generating, I started to save the comics from my newspaper and wrap Christmas gifts in that. This met immediate disapproval from my little sister, who cherished a beautifully wrapped Christmas gift above all else. She was right; my gifts looked cheap and were not the least bit festive.Read More »