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This beautifully filmed, Redwood forest video  by Jesse Rosten  is about growth, nature, roots, groves…definitely worth a look-see. There is a reverence, serenity, and peacefulness about it.

(via Black Eiffel)

Here’s a sweepstakes for all the greenies reading the bloggy.  And, for the non-greenies you can enter, too.  You don’t have to actually go green to enter. 

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas Sweepstakes

Enter the “I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas” Sweepstakes. It’s your chance to win weekly prizes and an eco-friendly resort vacation. Enter today!

I haven’t forgotten about Operation Christmas Eco Challenge from my earlier post (read here). In fact, I found these ideas today at  www.martha.com

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From:

Body+Soul

Given the time and thought that goes into picking a holiday gift, the standard wrap job — a rumpled bow slapped on a department-store box or a bag and tissue paper picked up at the drugstore — rarely does justice to the contents. But visual appeal isn’t the only reason to reconsider your wrapping habits: Americans spend an estimated $2.7 billion annually on ribbons, paper, and bows, and almost all of those goods wind up in the trash. This year make gift wrap that’s both gorgeous and green by creatively repurposing stuff others might toss.

Notes eco-stylist Danny Seo, author of the new book “Simply Green Giving”: “It’s amazing what you can find at Goodwill. Vintage fabrics, wallpaper, and sweaters all make great wrapping — just look for rich textures.”Sometimes,” he adds, “the wrap will serve as part of the gift, as in the case of a belt or scarf used as a bow. When you think outside of the paper-covered box, the options are endless. Read on for wrapping ideas as stylish as they are sustainable.

Natural
Birch bark and fresh leaves are surprisingly pliable; just roll and secure with twine. Find them in Asian markets and outdoors.

Clockwise from top left: Banana leaf with cinnamon, bamboo leaves with hemp twine, bamboo leaves with star anise, banana leaves with reeds, birch bark with a feather.

Fillers
Biodegradable stuffing cushions small, fragile items just as well as plastic bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts, a recycler’s worst nightmare.

Clockwise from top left: Used wrapping paper, shredded; unsalted peanuts in their shells; air-popped popcorn; a pine bough.

Cloth
In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts in cloth is called furoshiki, and it’s brilliantly ecofriendly. Secure open ends with a button, safety pin, or knot.

Clockwise from top left: Vintage scarf; burlap rice bag; wool scarf with a knitting needle; tea towel with rickrack; scrap from a vintage kimono.

Paper
Easy to find and work with, vintage and repurposed papers add pop to presents. Layer several colors and textures, or add vintage beads for a finished look.

Clockwise from top left: Vintage wallpaper; Chinese newspaper topped with colored paper; recycled map; grocery bag with Japanese beads.

Created by Donna Garlough and Lauren Sanders; photographs by Karl Juengel; styling by Dawn Sinkowski   First Published: November/December 2006

Still want more ideas?  Click my earlier post here.

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
                   we borrow it from our children.”
                   – Ancient Lakota Proverb

Polarbearbig
Carbon Equity is a British campaign for action on climate change.  CE recently published  The Big Melt report, a review of all the 2007 literature and studies looking at the current condition of the Arctic ice.

According to the report “the Arctic sea ice is disintegrating 100 years ahead of schedule”, having dropped 22% this year below the previous low, and it may completely disappear as early as the summer of 2013. This is far beyond the predictions of the International Panel on Climate Change.

Rob Hopkins, one of the blogs I regularly read, says

[The Big Melt] does not make for comfortable reading, and indeed it adds enormous urgency to to need to reduce emissions. It argues that to speak of 2 degrees being a safe threshold is nonsense, that we haven’t yet reached 1 degree, but already the Arctic ice is melting 100 years ahead of when the IPCC predicted it would.

Rob makes a point of posting positive, action-oriented info on his blog, which is why I read it. He is active internationally in helping communities prepare for peak oil and global warming. I must warn you that he named his post about The Big Melt “The Single Most Depressing Thing I Have Ever Read.”

Sharon Astyk (another fovorite blogger) says about it: “If you are a sensitive sort, I strongly recommend reading it while clutching a teddy bear and having your back massaged.”  It really is depressing.

Makes you want to dive right in, eh?

Here are the highlights:

• Climate change impacts are happening at lower temperature increases and more quickly than projected.

• The Arctic’s floating sea ice is headed towards rapid summer disintegration as early as 2013, a century ahead of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections.

• The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice will speed up the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet, and a rise in sea levels by as much as 5 metres by the turn of this century is possible.

• The Antarctic ice shelf reacts far more sensitively to warming temperatures than previously believed.

• Long-term climate sensitivity (including “slow” feedbacks such as carbon cycle feedbacks which are starting to operate) may be double the IPCC standard.

• Temperatures are now within ≈1°C of the maximum temperature of the past million years.

Are your eyes glazing over? Mine did.  As the most intellectual species of the planet are humans being good stewards?  Are we being Godly and ethical?  Or, are we quickening the race to extinction.  The dinosaurs were here for years.  Humans haven’t been around even close to that long.  In our quest for ease, comfort, materials, and the good life are we sprinting to the finish line, the final leg, the last leg, the home stretch to hell?

Melting arctic ice affects more than just polar bears, who are having a rough time these days by the way. A warmer Arctic changes global weather patterns that  disrupt food production around the world. Melting glaciers and land-based ice sheets will contribute to rising sea levels, threatening low-lying areas with erosion, flooding, and contamination of freshwater supplies.  Will the beach house still be there?

We all need to make personal changes to cut our carbon footprints, working toward 90%.  We really need  leadership to instigate sweeping policy changes, and radical and inspired conservation efforts on a federal level. However, I’m not holding my breath. 

As redbpower is in the early stages, I have become more sensitive to the building industry.  I am personally, and now professionally, interested in “greener homes.” Here is some local “industry news.”  As I learn more about the technical side of making your home greener I will let you know. In the mean time, I have included the news at the bottom of this post.  Speaking of electrician type stuff:  Brian takes his final exam this week.  Yahoo.  Upon test results he will officially, legally be certified to do any type of electrical work including low and high voltage.  Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for him. Send him lots of memory and recall for the day of the exam. 

RICHMOND HILL, GA) Sugar Magnolia Homes of Richmond Hill  participated in the Energy Star Awareness Eventin conjunction with Georgia Power Company. SMH opened two model homes for tours at their Midtown at White Oak Village property located off of Bethel Baptist Church Road. Sugar Magnolia diverts close to 24 million tons of drywall from landfills each year, and emphasizes recycling of other building materials such as vinyl. The company uses tighter duct work, low-emulsion windows, and other features to ensure its homes use less energy, making living cheaper for homeowners. For more information, visit www.savesomegreenbuildgreen.com.

For Sale:

Housepic

No, I am not relocating.  Brian, Beatrice, Barry, Sugar and I are happy right here in the boro.  We are not going any where – unless it is on vacation.  But, one of my favorite houses IS for sale.  I have been following this little house since seeing it on one of my favorite blogs, http://athomelaurel.blogspot.com/

The house is so cute, cozy, charming…and green.  It is SO me. Or, SO the green me. It’s not the “I want to be a millionaire me. Or, the I love my coach hand bag me.  Or, the my baby has the same linens as Baby Suri me.”  But, it is the green, deep down under, earth mama, organic me. 

Even more, it is about an hour from Manhatten.  I brake for Manhatten, baby!   Danny Seo is the eco-editor of Country Home, has his house in Bucks County, PA on the market. And guess what, the purchase of the house comes with your very own DVD, “Simple Steps to a Greener Home.” Is that cool, or what?  You can check it out here:  http://www.riverroadhouse.com/.  It reminds me of the beach house — if the beach house were in the mountains of Pennsylvania and a little more posh. 

Happy House Hunting.  I wish I could move to Bucks County.