Archive for December, 2008

Greening Your Holiday

Thanks to our friends at Viva Terra for the following tips to keeping your holiday earth-friendly and festive.

Holiday “R’s”

  • Replace conventional tree lights with energy efficient LED lights. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that if everyone did this we would save enough energy to heat 200,000 homes for a year. LEDs also release little heat, making them safer as well.
  • Recycle scraps of fabric, ribbon, buttons and other materials into unique holiday decorations – a fun activity for children.
  • If you are giving a gift that requires batteries make sure they are rechargeable.
  • Reuse. Save packing cartons and shipping material like peanuts and shredded paper for later use.
  • Reduce energy. Turn down the heat before the guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests will warm up the room.

Celebrate the Earth

  • Walk or carpool to parties and family gatherings to save fuel.
  • Plan serving amounts ahead of time to avoid food waste; if you still have leftovers, freeze them for future meals. Or, give a gift to your garden and compost them instead.
  • Create romantic (and flattering) ambient light with groupings of votive candles in attractive cups; they’re long-burning and efficient.
  • Give your tree back to the earth. If you choose a cut tree this season make sure you recycle it. Check Earth911 for info on recycling in your area.
  • Prune evergreen shrubs and trees and use them as decorations for your holiday table or sideboard.
  • Plant some new trees to replace the one you use this season. Visit American Forests to learn how.

Creative Gifting

  • Free your inner artist, and make your own gift cards from recycled post cards, magazines, photos or note cards.
  • Make the wrapping part of the gift – put personal care items in a new bath towel, gardening supplies in a tote bag, homemade cookies on a beautiful wood platter.

Stories of the World with Jon Bowermaster

National Geographic writer, filmmaker and adventurer Jon Bowermaster has spent the last 20 years exploring remote corners of the globe and documenting his experiences for a variety of national and international magazines, as well as in his own books and documentary films

For his Oceans 8 project, Jon spent the last decade traveling the globe by sea kayak and investigating the local cultures, histories and environmental issues of those living along the world’s coastlines.  We were fortunate to catch up with Jon recently, and in the video interview below, he describes his Oceans 8 adventures, discusses the perceptions and realities of climate change he’s observed, and talks about the next step in his journey.


We’ll feature future updates from Jon in his travels here on Earthkeepers … in the meantime, you can also follow his adventures through Dispatches on his website.