Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday's green books: Celebrate Green! (and a giveaway of the book)

After a short break of one week we're back with our beloved Monday's green books series, and today we're celebrating! Our book today is:

"Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations & Traditions for the Whole Family" by Corey Colwell-Lipson & Lynn Colwell

Few weeks ago we announced here on our collaboration with the authors (buyers of the book on the Celebrate Green! website are offered to plant a tree with their copy of Celebrate Green!) and today we're happy to review the book and to give away one copy of it.

I read quite a few guides for green living in the last year or so, but this is the first guide I know that is focused on holidays and celebrations. Why? the authors explain: "the reason it's important to green up our celebrations is that holidays and special days are plentiful...holidays and special days don't happen on one day only in one place; they occur throughout the year in homes, schools, and places of work across the globe." (p. 20)

I have to say I like the concept. Firstly, holidays and celebrations are many times part of traditions, whether these are on personal, family, local or national level. If we embed green practices into traditions, it will be much easier to pass them to the next generations. Second, holidays and celebrations require planning and giving some thought about the details, and hence provide an excellent opportunity to think and discuss the importance of green practices. Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson, a mother and daughter, started their green holidays journey on Halloween 2006 and this book is an important milestone on their green journey.

The book is covering various holidays, from Christmas and Hanukkah to Father's Day and St. Patrick's Day. It also talks about many types of celebrations such as baby showers, wedding anniversaries, office parties and so on.
For each of these holidays and celebrations you will find many useful tips on how to green them up. Want an example? how about Halloween, the holiday where it all started for the authors and actually the nearest holiday on the calender..

So how to green up your Halloween? it starts with choosing eco-friendly and/or people friendly treats and treasures. Also use the 3Rs when it comes to treats and treasures: reduce their amount (kids will cherish it more), recycle (make treasures from recycled materials) and reuse (stuff you don't need can be great treasures). You will also find recommendations on green party favors and prizes, eco-friendly costumes, tips on hosting a Green Halloween party and more.

One important thing is that the book try to keep it real. Not too much complicated stuff and many ideas that can fit everyone - from the busiest people to those who have all the time in the world. Still, the authors don't pretend green celebrations can be made at no time and make sure you will understand that it requires planning to have a successful green holiday or party. They also show you how green alternatives don't have to be necessarily costly, as many people may assume mistakenly. Anyone who will implement the 3Rs for any of the holidays will find that you can actually "save some green while going green".

So if you are kind of person (and who doesn't) who likes to celebrate and enjoy the holidays and at the same time care about the environment and your footprint this is defenitely the book for you! Add to it the facts that Celebrate Green! is printed on 30% recycled and 70% FSC certified paper, collaborating with Eco-Libris and a portion of the proceeds from the book benefit Treeswing and Healthy Child, Healthy World and you've also a great green and affordable gift to give on the holidays.


We are giving away our review copy of Celebrate Green! How do you get a chance to win it? all you have to do is to add a comment below with a story or advice of yours on how to make holidays and celebrations more eco-friendly. If you have a tip or a story about Halloween that would be great!

Submissions are accepted until Sunday, November 2, 12PM EST. We will pick the comment we liked best and the winner will be announced the following day.

And don't forget to check out these websites:

Celebrate Green! website -

More suggestions on how to green your Halloween -

Raz @ Eco-Libris


Ivanna at said...

What wonderful ideas. An easy "green" birthday idea is to use beeswax birthday candles. Also, think of activities or crafts that can be used with household items that normally would be thrown away, like toilet paper rolls. For party favors, buy 1 or 2 nicer sustainably made items instead of a lot of plastic junk. Use a bag made of fabric so that the goody bag could be reused.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of putting some gifts inside of reusable shopping bags this year instead of using wrapping paper! thanks. pposwaps(AT)

Anonymous said...

at this time of the year, i like to make baked goods and tie them up neatly in reusable fabric snack bags as gifts. i also bake according to the recipients health needs such as diabetic chocolates or even cholesterol free cookies. there is hardly any waste in this...the fabric bags can be used to store anything from coin change to wrapping food for school or work and most of all, i get to do what i do best - bake!

fertawert AT yahoo DOT com

Mommy T said...

For the holidays I've gotten in the habit of packaging gifts in a container that's also part of the gift - e.g., homemade cookies in a reusable tin, other gifts in a cloth grocery-size tote, etc. I've found great inexpensive tins/boxes at Ikea and the Container Store that will be great for repurposing afterwards.

Anonymous said...

This year I bought (well, pre-ordered right now) an heritage turkey from a local farm. The turkey's are truely "free range", since they live where they please on the farm (apparently they usually choose to roost in trees), raise their own young, and eat what turkey's are meant to eat. They also raise their own young (well, the ones destined to be mothers do, not the ones destined for the thanksgiving table), and they preserve species which would otherwise be dieing out, because of people's preference for the cheaper, less flavorful feed-lot turkeys. I've never had them before, and I can't wait to see what my family thinks.

Anonymous said...

For Christmas and birthdays reuse wrapping paper and bows or try wrapping presents in the funny papers!
Elaine R

Anonymous said...

first, i've been making handmade items to give away as gifts such as knitted scarves, mittens and hats which is perfect for the upcoming winter season. i like to wrap the gifts in recycled newspaper and colorful ads from magazines or even fun sunday comic pages to make it more interesting!


EcoKind Design said...

Halloween Tip:

Make paper doll chains in the shapes of ghosts, witches, pumpkins, etc.

Use the same technique for regular paper dolls, making sure you don't cut the folded seam that holds the shapes together!

To make the chain longer, tape or paste the edges together.

When you're done with them, you can fold them up and put them away for re-use the next year!

Thank you Eco-libris and Celebrate Green!

pumpkin pie said...

We're giving away organic lollipops with compostable wrappers this Halloween. I'm glad to be able to help reduce some of the waste this night with the wrappers. I've also started to get ready for Christmas by crafting. My family has initiated a rule that each gift must be environmentally friendly and/or recycled. It's a fun challenge!

Anonymous said...

I liked your review saying that it has to be something we do all year round. We do most basic things recyling, buying less and donating to charity. I even compost. For halloween, our green way is that everyone keeps the same outfit year after year! We don't buy new. There is a selection of 5 and first come, first served with the kids. and you're right, it saves us a lot of green too!


Jenna said...

we reuse our newspaper as gift wrap for holidays. We also use our fireplace instead of turning the heat up so high. great giveaway!

Erin Lowmaster said...

I have tons of bags from my wedding gifts and baby shower that I plan on reusing!

ellybean (at)

Rockin' Mama said...

we actually decided to offer alternatives to candy. We offered organic fruit snacks and used a reusable halloween bag (versus plastic)

jasonncaryn at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

About 2-3 years ago I set myself a small goal of giving "green" gifts to just a few people in my life. For example, I friend of mine was complaining about how guilty she felt about her 30 mile daily commute. So I offset her carbon emissions for a year through LiveNeutral. That's a no-brainer! Each year my goal is to add 1 or 2 people to the "green" gift list. Last year I got my very un-green aunt & uncle place mats made out of recycled materials from Kwytza Kraft. They didn't even know the difference! It's been easier to do than I thought, for sure.