Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Eco-friendly gifts for all

It’s Christmas time again: time to find presents for every single person on your list. The stores are usually a madhouse, and often presents bought at major department stores won’t be as environmentally friendly, due to the excess plastic used in packaging. Here are a few eco-friendly alternatives to regular gifts like sweaters and scarves, which will also help you earn some good karma.

1. Alternative Gifts Market ($1-11, altgifts.com)

Shoppers can dedicate donations in the names of family or friends to help people from all over the world. With the purchase, the shopper receives an explanation of the cause they are donating to, along with a free holiday card they can give to the recipient. These will be on sale at Reid from noon to 1 p.m. from Monday, Dec. 1 to Friday, Dec. 5. For just a few dollars, these gifts give so much to the needy. For instance, just $3 provides clean water for one person for a whole year, and $11 provides for one wheel of a wheelchair in Ecuador. Why not give gifts that help save the world?

2. USBCELL rechargeable batteries (starting at $18, usbcell.com)

Instead of having to buy and dispose of AA batteries, USBCELL rechargeable batteries allow you to recharge one AA battery at a time by plugging it into a USB port. It’s simple, easy and cheap. They can be used over and over again in any device that uses AA batteries, from digital cameras to wireless keyboards or mice.

3. Elephant Poo Paper ($12, uncommongoods.com)

Indeed: the journal and note paper box are made out of 100 percent elephant poo. Elephant poo is full of short grained fibrous materials, which, when processed, can make excellent paper. The naturally dried poo is collected from parks and rinsed until only the fibrous materials from the elephant’s diet, like bamboo and grass, are left. The fibers are put into a giant pot of boiling water until they are clean, and additional fibers from trees are added to make the paper stronger.

4. Tactikka Plus LED Headlamp ($39.95, petzl.com)

This isn’t just any headlamp. Sure, most Whitties probably have a headlamp, but this one is different. It has four LED lights with different settings, as well as white and red-filtered light (so you don’t blind the person you’re talking to). It runs off three AAA batteries, but the best part is that those batteries last about 80 to 100 hours, so you won’t have to worry about carrying extra batteries.

5. Recycled Newspaper Tote ($52, uncommongoods.com)

Despite the price, this tote is made from all recycled newspapers: hence the warning on the site that says “Each is one-of-a-kind. Newspaper print can come from style, arts, travel or home sections. Sorry, no choice of print.” It’s soft, durable with water-resistant laminate and pretty stylish. Fireworks also sells similarly styled bags made of materials such as license plates and vinyl records.

While these gifts range from practical to pricy, all of them are eco-friendly. Gift-giving should be about what makes the recipient happy: but this year, take the environment into consideration as well.

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