World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club and many more will allow you to adopt an animal or buy gifts that benefit the organization and its conservation work.
With this all-inclusive service, sending a card via snail mail is now fully automated. You start by emailing friends a link to the site so they can enter their home address—or just enter their addresses yourself. Then choose a card from 200-plus styles, and type in your personal greeting. Customize each card with a personal message—in a font that looks handwritten! Sip eggnog while the site handles everything else, from affixing the stamp to physically mailing the card. Holiday cards, from $2.50 each plus postage, postable.com.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year's day, Americans throw away a million extra tons [900,000 metric tons] of garbage each week, including holiday wrapping and packaging, according to Robert Lilienfeld. Lilienfield is co-author of the book Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are.
So why not recycle holiday gift wrap? Lilienfield, who has published a newsletter on reducing waste since 1996, notes that if every family reused just 2 feet [0.6 meter] of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles [61,000 kilometers] of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
And not all gifts need wrapping. "Think back to your three favorite holiday memories," Lilienfeld said. "I'm willing to bet that they all involve time you spent with your family and friends.” By giving gifts that can be experienced, like tickets to a baseball game or a homemade dinner, you can minimize wrapping and still win points with the receiver. "People like these gifts just as much," he said.
There’s not a more eco-friendly way to do things than with human power. Shovels are inexpensive and a good way to remove snow without any harmful effects on the environment. Brooms can also come in handy when removing snow.
If you decide to shovel, make sure you’re healthy enough to handle the exertion it takes to lift and move the snow. Taking breaks while shoveling, staying hydrated and using your legs to lift the snow are all good tips to staying safe.
Because shoveling can cause overexertion and possibly lead to heart attacks, health experts recommend shoveling the snow in increments and not waiting until after a storm to shovel all of the snow at once.