For Editors

For Readers

Published Columns
What's News

Greening Your Holidays & Playtime, All Year Round

For your convenience, I've gathered my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional information.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ECOGIRL, including how she can appear in your publication,
see the
main EcoGirl page.

Greening 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 fun!

Sharing 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 options!

Greening 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.

Nurturing 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 'round.
Sipping 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 local favorites!
Trimming 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.
Detoxing 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.
Greening 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!
Holiday Donations: Your Magic Wand for Planetary Change! (December 2007)
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.
Greening 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!
Greening 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!
Are 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!
Speaking 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.
From 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!
Honoring 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 activities.
Discarding 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!
Let's 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 at www.healthyworld.org/ecoholidays.html.

* THEME: Enjoying Ecological Food & Agriculture (including Organics & GMOs)

* 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 Green (www.celebrategreen.net).

Return to EcoGirl's Theme Page Index.


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.

* "Green Getaways" (NorthBay biz magazine, July 2011). How North Bay businesses and visitors are finding fun and opportunity in local eco-tourism.
* "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 earth-centered festivities" 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 bonus info!)


* 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 index of articles.
* North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on these topics for the Bohemian's Green Zone column. 

* 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 [at] askecogirl.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.

This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2013. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 12/11/13