Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2008

Turning the page on a new year, especially one that starts off with beautiful weather like today’s, can be a hopeful exercise. All around us are signs of a better tomorrow, especially for those of us with concerns about making our environment a healthier place.

In 2008, Organicmania looks forward to helping you make informed decisions about when it makes sense to go organic, and to sharing more simple steps to make the environment healthier for us all.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

— Lynn

The Last Word on Green Tacky, Tacky

December 22nd, 2007

It’s been two weeks since I wrote about Green Tacky, Tacky and asked my dear readers for tips on where to find tacky “green” LED lights like choo choo trains, reindeer, Santa and the like. Guess what? No luck. Not a tip. Nada. Zilch. I even called upon my dear friend Karen, who works as an “elf” at her family’s business, Santa’s World, one of America’s largest importers of Christmas decorations. Not even she had heard of tacky green outdoor decorations.

What’s more, our one remaining tacky item, the 8 foot tall towering Santa, died – or deflated or something. What a sad sight. The neighborhood kids are beside themselves.

A Sad Sight: Deflated Santa

So now in a single season, our house has gone from being the talk of the neighborhood to simply another boring tastefully decorated house with LED lights.

To make matters worse, some of my friends in the “real world” have suggested that tacky and green don’t go together. Are you either green and tasteful, or non-environmentally friendly and tacky?

And if I don’t find tacky green outdoor decorations? What will I say to the neighborhood kids, as they gaze at the deflated Santa on my lawn? Will I commit an eco-sin and buy the non-environmentally friendly outside decorations? Well, I don’t confess sins but every Mother in America knows what I’ll do next.

— Lynn

The Best Gifts for the Holidays

November 30th, 2007

It’s not even December yet, and already my in-box is clogged with solicitations from toy makers, clothing retailers, and seemingly just about everyone selling anything!

This year, more than ever before, parents are concerned about buying safe presents for their children. And increasingly, they’re concerned about the environment too.

This is one reason experiential gifts are a good idea. Experiential gifts are gifts of experiences. They’re not plastic, they’re not lead and they’re not breakable! What they are is memorable.

When I was a young girl, I gave my father a book of coupons I made. I colored each of 10 coupons and bound them into a little pink package. Inside were pages redeemable for a mix of chores and sweet nothings: a hug, a car wash, a home made dinner or cookies, and more. Of course it’s been 30 years or so since I gave my father that book, and I’ve forgotten all that was in it. In fact, I thought he had forgotten it too, because oddly enough, he never redeemed the coupons. Periodically I would ask him about it, and he would just laugh a little and smile, then change the topic. It wasn’t until after he died years later that I found the coupon book. It was carefully wrapped and laid in a file with my name on it, next to childhood drawings and photos.

I still think the coupon book is a great holiday gift idea. Clearly, my father cherished it, even if he never did redeem those coupons! A markedly more upscale version of my coupon book is available through  Excitations, a company focused on “gift experiences.” The Parent Bloggers Network asked me to blog about Excitations, which ironically I was planning to do anyway since they have a store nearby at DC’s Union Station.

Excitations offers a variety of experiences, including “green experiences.” You can do such things as dine at an organic farm restaurant, take a guided bike tour around the city, sail down a river on a schooner, or even learn archery. Check it out!

Copyright Organicmania 2007

The Green Grinch Who Stole Christmas?

November 25th, 2007

The New York Times today writes about environmentalists who are driving their families nutty with boring green gifts. It’s an interesting piece, and reminds me of all the requests I’ve received to write about eco-friendly gifts for the holidays. Hmm…I think there are ways to be green and festive at the same time, don’t you?