November 28, 2008


These are Cape Penguins from the Southern most tip of South Africa on Cape Point

Conservation status
There are estimated to be 170,000 pairs of African penguin. They are listed as Vulnerable by the 2000 IUCN Red List, and they are threatened by oil pollution, reduction of food supply due to overfishing, egg collection and competition for breeding space with seals. The South African conservationists are very successful in cleaning and releasing penguins that get oiled, and they have a very good survival rate.

Here's some simple ways we can be kinder to the environment over the holidays


I would love to hear your own suggestions in the comments link below!!

  • Save energy by using LED lights. If we all switched we would save a lot of electricity. There are many different lighting options out now and some are solar powered.
  • Cut up your old cards and use them for decoupage projects, gift tags or kids crafts.
  • Give an herb garden kit to a favorite gardener
  • Use rechargeable batteries. There’s a USBCELL out that recharges by plugging into your computer. Standard rechargeable batteries are also a good choice. At least you can use them several times before throwing them out.
  • Put together an organic fruit basket for a friend.
  • Use newspaper, old gift bags, comics and magazines for wrapping paper. They also work for padding more delicate items and recycle paper at the same time.

Consider celebrating the holidays in less commercialized ways:

  • Buy handmade items with less packaging such as a sweaters, stuffed toys, wooden toys, puzzles, furniture etc.
  • Consider gifts of time such as volunteering, gift certificates for favors such as helping a friend with childcare. (Make your own gift certificates that give someone a free hour of babysitting, a free lawn mowing, house cleaning etc.)

Create your own handmade gift. You can create all kinds of wonderful items if you use your imagination.

Some homemade gift ideas:

  • Bake something for someone. Think of someone who might enjoy a batch of homemade cookies or a pie.
  • Frame a piece of art created by a child. Some relatives would love receiving something like this.
  • Sew an apron for your favorite cook with a personalized saying on it.
  • Create a paper mache Christmas tree out of newspaper.
  • Cross stitch something onto a towel, apron or framed Aida fabric.
  • Make a candle holder out of a tin can by punching a design into it with hammer and nail. Recycled soup and coffee cans work well for this and you can use a stencil similarly to carving a pumpkin.
  • Create a homemade photo album full of favorite family photos.
  • Create a cookbook with your family’s favorite recipes to treasure.
  • Decorate, personalize and paint an old small box and use it for a jewelry box or knick-knacks. This is another fun craft children love to help creating.
  • Decoupage someone’s favorite photo onto a container or box so that they will be able to see it every day.
  • Organize a carol singing party and sing along with friends and family.

The holidays can be a stressful time of year. It’s a good time for expressing our love for each other with our actions and our time. If we remember this, we can come up with more unique and eco-friendly ways to do that.

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