Greening Your Holidays & Playtime, All Year
For your convenience, I've gathered
my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional
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NEW YEAR'S DAY
Your New Year's Resolutions (January 2010)
- The new year offers us a handy time to identify the changes we
want to make in our lives. And it's smart to include caring for
the earth among our intentions, because the planet's well-being is
key to our survival, and because aligning with the earth
can help us achieve our personal goals. Here some example ways
that you can eco-charge your New Year's resolutions to be
healthier, save money, connect with others, and have more
Your Eco-Love (February 2010)
- This Valentine's Day, you can express your love for both your
sweetie and the planet. Here are some easy ways to eco-upgrade
your amorous expressions, thus embodying your values while
revealing that oh-so-attractive eco-awareness that so many
beloveds admire. This column includes specific tips about buying
chocolates, roses, and more, including some lovely local
Your Summer Vacation (June 2012)
- Summer's here! And with that comes the delight of summer
vacations. So how can you honor the earth during your travels?
EcoGirl maps it out for you! In this column, she outlines the key
principles to keep in mind overall, then identifies specific
tangible ways that you can joyfully implement them in your
destination choice, lodging, transportation, and activities.
Included are a variety of specific options in Sonoma County and
the San Francisco North Bay, as well as general resources such as
eco-car rental links.
Authentic Holiday Green (December 2010)
- With so many companies claiming to be green, how do we choose
products that are truly better for the earth? EcoGirl can help!
Read her column this month for quick and easy tips for buying and
being authentically green, this holiday season and all year
Earth-Friendly Holiday Cheer (November 2010)
- Does it really make a difference if we serve and bring
eco-wines to our holiday events? Yes! Here are the reasons they're
indeed better for both your health and the planet. And they're
tasty too! EcoGirl also gives you tips for sorting through the
eco-labels to find ones you like -- and even lets you in on her
Your Holiday Waste (December 2009)
- A reader wonders how their family can reduce the increased
trash they generate during the holidays. Yes, given how much our
waste increases this time of year, this is a vital and fruitful
time for us all to cut back. Luckily, as usual, EcoGirl comes to
the rescue with an organized list of tangible ways that you can
trim your trash, this holiday season and beyond, thus reducing
your eco-impacts, your garbage costs, and even often having more
fun! Topics you'll find covered in this column include:
entertaining, food, greeting cards, gift wrapping, gift giving,
disposal after the festivities, and resources.
Your Holidays (November 2009)
- Unfortunately, our need to protect health and planet from
hidden toxics doesn't stop during the holidays. This column offers
specific tips for recognizing common seasonal threats and choosing
less-toxic options, including when buying toy gifts. Plus there's
information about how you can support current much-needed
proposals to strengthen toxic regulations, thus better protecting
ourselves for many holidays to come.
Your Holidays, On a Budget (November 2008)
- Yes, you can create greener winter holidays while treading
lightly on both the earth and your budget. In fact, one of the
silver linings of this economic downturn is that it can help us
reduce the consumerism rates that are more than the planet can
bear. Here's some ideas for how to do that while still having
loving fun with friends and family!
Donations: Your Magic Wand for Planetary Change! (December
- You can empower change in the world through your holiday
donations (and perhaps even get a tax deduction!). Here are
inspiring ideas for finding your own passionate issues, and
suggestions for wonderful local groups you can support.
Your Gifting (November 2007)
- Want to truly green your gifting? Here in one place are key
principles for thinking green to include Mother Earth in your
holiday giving. Includes specific ideas you won't find other
places - plus great local resources!
Our Techno-Tools (July 2009)
- Our daily lives can be enhanced in many ways by today's
technological devices, including computers, cell phones, cameras,
TVs, stereos, game players, and more. However, it's vital for us
to be smart about our use of these techno-toys, because they do
have eco-impacts throughout their lifecycles. Here are specific
ways that you can buy, enjoy, and discard these products while
minimizing their harm -- and even saving money as well!
Smart Phones Green? (February 2011)
- Smart phones, MP3 players, and other mobile devices are
sprouting up all over the place. But are they good or bad for the
earth? To help answer that question, EcoGirl walks through her
assessment process for her latest purchase, the iPod Touch. The
web version of this article also has additional information,
resources, and app recommendations!
Effectively for the Earth (September 2011)
- A reader asks how she can talk to her uncle, who's opposed to
President Obama's recent increase in car mileage standards,
because he thinks they're only harmful and that global warming
isn't real. EcoGirl offers her two quick links to email him that
address his key points, and offers her general suggestions for
being persuasive in talking with people about eco-issues.
Gratitude to Action (December 2011)
- Too often, children can devour their Christmas gifts so
quickly that they don't really experience or appreciate each one,
let alone the person who gave it. In much the same way, our
culture is voraciously turning the earth's amazing ecosystems into
momentary objects that we barely notice and quickly become part of
our overwhelming piles of waste. To help remedy this, EcoGirl
offers some easy ways that we can redirect our actions towards
sanity, and through this more fully enjoy the objects and
experiences we have, reduce our harm to the precious earth, and
help ensure that there will be happy times tomorrow!
Change and Tradition (November 2011)
- Like many folks, EcoGirl has been fascinated and thrilled to
see people come out onto the streets to call for major changes in
our system's structures. These movements offer us a chance for the
scale of change that we need to steer ourselves away from so many
crises, including eco-collapse. EcoGirl offers her thoughts about
how we all can respond constructively to the opportunity of this
powerful moment, wherever we are; what she feels is vital for the
movement's success; and how the earth's ways can (and must) be
included in the new solutions. She also honors the tradition of
our winter celebrations by offering organized and helpful lists
full of ways that you can honor the earth in all your holiday
Your Stuff - Ecologically (August 2008)
- Do you have items that you want to discard - without adding to
our overstuffed landfills? There are many ways to do this - plus
make a little money and delight in contributing to others! In this
article, EcoGirl walks you through the key ways you can sell and
donate your goods, summarizing the benefits and drawbacks of each,
highlighting creative options, and providing handy information
about websites, local outlets, and more!
Play The Reuse Game! (February 2012)
- In this column, EcoGirl introduces you to her fun new
activity, which she calls "The Reuse Game." You might already know
that reuse is a key component of reducing our impact on the earth
and steering ourselves away from eco-collapse. But we can also
have fun doing it! This article has lots of ideas and tips for
being creative with your reuse. You can even turn it into a social
activity! The web page also has lots more added ideas and
resources. How lovely for all of us to get rewarded for treating
the earth's gifts with respect!
* I've also gathered together lots of winter eco-holidays tips
* THEME: Enjoying
Ecological Food & Agriculture (including Organics &
* THEME: Implementing
the Key Notions of Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
* THEME: Creating
an Eco-Healthy Household (including Less-toxic Housecleaning, Pet
Care, & Pest Control)
* I recommend the beautiful and inspiring book, Celebrate
Return to EcoGirl's
Theme Page Index.
GIFT IDEA: MY ASK
Consider giving a gift of my Ask EcoGirl booklets, "Healthier
Housecleaning" and "Detoxing Your Life." Maybe also get them for
yourself! These unique, handy, and cheerful resources bring together
key information folks need to create a healthier home for their
families and the planet.
If you want, I can send a gift directly to your friend, and
enclose a gift card with a message from you. Also, quantity discounts
and wholesale prices are available. Plus all sales support my
eco-healing community work. Tell a friend!
Find out more at www.askecogirl.info/booklets.html.
OTHER PRINT ARTICLES I'VE
WRITTEN ON THIS THEME
- * "Green
Getaways" (NorthBay biz
magazine, July 2011). How North Bay businesses and
visitors are finding fun and opportunity in local
- * "Waste
Not, Want Not:
Disposing of holiday detritus responsibly,"
North Bay Bohemian, Dec. 24, 2008
- * "Celebrating
Winter: Summerfield's Winter Faire offers eco-gifts and
North Bay Bohemian, Dec. 3, 2008
* " Eco-Clothing
Direct: Wear the change you want to see in the
world," North Bay
Bohemian, Nov. 26, 2008. For savvy local eco-shoppers, one of
this season's special delights is Indigenous Designs' holiday
warehouse sale, offering significant discounts on Indigenous'
beautiful, handcrafted, fair trade, organic and natural-fiber
clothing. This column goes behind the scenes to learn more about this
idealistic company and its successful journey.
* " Nature's
Magical Discovery Hut: Exploring
earth's intricacies is not just for
kids" North Bay
Bohemian, Nov. 12, 2008. An adventure at Spring Lake's
Environmental Discovery Center.(My web page here also includes web
MORE OF MY PRINT ARTICLES
- * My Next
STEP newsletter, which has lots of information on
toxics and alternatives, plus government and community-level
actions. "It's your handy guide to less-toxic living."
Look up topics of interest in the The Next STEP
- * North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on
these topics for the Bohemian's Green
* I also cover these topics on my Facebook
page and blog.
- Ask EcoGirl is written by Patricia Dines, Author of
The Organic Guides, and Editor and Lead Writer for The
Next STEP newsletter, which gently educates readers about
toxics and alternatives. For more information about my work for
the planet, see www.patriciadines.info.
Sign up for my low-volume writing announcement list (1-3
emails a month), to get emails when my new print articles are
published, at www.patriciadines.info/EList.
- Connect via Facebook, to show your support for my work,
and get inspiring and useful eco-info in your Newsfeed www.facebook.com/AskEcoGirl.
Explore and sign up for my blog at www.patriciadines.info/LTEblog.
- I hope that you find this information useful. I welcome
your throughts and feedback! (You can email me at info
- Editors: Please contact me if you'd like to publish any of
these articles in your periodical, or discuss an article that
I might write for you.
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Patricia Dines, 1998-2013. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 12/11/13