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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Green Giving

Air Date: Week of

Kara DiCamillo compiled treehugger.com’s Green Gift Guide.

Kara DiCamillo of treehugger.com gives host Bruce Gellerman green gift tips for the holiday season.


This year, are you dreaming of a green Christmas? As you shop for your Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza gifts, do you feel a bit guilty that you're contributing to the extra 25 million tons of trash Americas will generate during the gift giving season? Well, you don't have to say ‘bah humbug’ and give lumps of coal. There are green alternatives, and joining us from Newport, Rhode Island is Kara DiCamillo. She put together the Green Gift Guide for the website treehugger.com. Hello, Kara.

DICAMILLO: Hi, Bruce. How are you?

GELLERMAN: I’m well, thank you. You know, when I hear tree hugger I think, well I think kinda crunchy granola, tie dye and hippie…


GELLERMAN: Yeah, exactly. Is that what you got here?

DICAMILLO: Well, not exactly. Our motto is hip not hippie. I mean don’t get me wrong we love the hippies and they are definitely the backbone of the environmental movement but, I mean lets face it, there is a negative ring to it as well. But the stuff that we feature on tree hugger as a whole has a modern aesthetic to them and, uh, there’s just so many options out there right now that allow people to lead an ecofriendly lifestyle.

GELLERMAN: Well let’s talk about some of the more unusual gift ideas. I like the one from the natural resources defense council. It’s something to watch skunks by moonlight.

Kara DiCamillo compiled treehugger.com’s Green Gift Guide.


GELLERMAN: It’s a night spotter scope.

DICAMILLO: Right, right. We have a lot of cool items like that on there. Um, the big trend this year is solar and we have a lot of solar options. It actually has its own category this year as well so.

GELLERMAN: Yeah. I was doing a bit of research and I found out that 40 % of the batteries used in the United States are used and bought during the holiday season. So what are the alternatives?

DICAMILLO: Some of the things that we featured in 2006, one of them was a solar video camera, which is very cool. Another one is a solar wireless camera. And another good one for the outdoors people is the solar powered tent. I don’t want to give it all away here, but. Those are just some of the solar things that we’re gonna feature.

GELLERMAN: I like the solar powered laptop.

DICAMILLO: Oh, Yeah. Solar powered laptop and we have a solar powered backpack to go along with that. Um, you can stick the laptop right in there and it charges just from being in the back pack.

GELLERMAN: What are some of the other cool ideas?

DICAMILLO: Also another big trend this year is bamboo. There is a company called Bamboo and they have everything from kitchen utensils to cutting boards. I’m a big foody myself so I have a lot of bamboo products in my home.

GELLERMAN: Well for Chanukah you have some sustainable gifts I noticed, um, beeswax candles.

DICAMILLO: Yes. Beeswax and soy candles. Those are both very good as opposed to using candles that might emit, you know, really bad stuff into your air and you don’t want that around the holidays.

GELLERMAN: Kara, what’s your stocking stuffed with this year?

DICAMILLO: I love the idea of crazy crayons. The company, through their recycle program, they accept old crayon stubs and melt them down to make new ones. So that’s definitely something that should be a stocking stuffer in every kids stocking this year. And I love, and this can be stuffed in my stocking, I love Vere Chocolate. The company is based out of New York City and their pieces of chocolate, if you can believe this Bruce, their chocolate, just one piece, has less sugar than an apple, more antioxidants than a glass of wine and more fiber than a pound of broccoli. That sounds good to me. And I’m a big outdoors person so I love the Teko socks. Um, I can use them for when I hike and they’re also made out of organic materials.

GELLERMAN: And you could use those as your stocking?

DICAMILLO: Yes you can. That’s a very good point.

GELLERMAN: Kara DiCamillo is a writer for Tree Hugger.com. She created the websites green gift guide. Thank you very much.

DICAMILLO: Thank you very much. It was very great talking with you.



Treehugger.com Holiday Gift Guide

“How to Green Your Gifts”


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