Gail of Green Living

“GREEN” Christmas Gifts

Green Christmas gifts

I went in the car today for only my second Christmas shopping trip.  This time it was a short trip to the Museum District to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Gift Shop.  They always have the best stocking stuffers for all ages and interests.  From left to right, I found shopping bags that will easily pack in the corner of a handbag or it has a clip on it to attach to your belt loop or key chain.  The crayons are made from old crayons and they are large and easy for young hands to hold.  They remind me of the candles I used to make from old crayons in Girl Scouts.  The MFAH has many other items made from recycled products, and of course, the design is always clever.  The little white rolls on the right are produce bags I picked up at HEB while food shopping, and they are great to replace the plastic bags at the supermarket.  I find them to be strong and easy to wash in between shopping trips.

Wrapping paper and ribbon are the most difficult to re-use.  But this wrapping paper from Target is 100% recyclable.  I don’t try to re-use it.  It is a little fragile, but the colors are vibrant and you can’t see through the paper. One year many years ago, I used newspaper to wrap gifts, and several years, I used craft paper, but it is so sturdy and heavy now, it’s not so easy to use.   The ribbons I buy are usually the wired ribbons, and they are easy to save and re-use without having to iron them.

We have saved time, energy and a lot of gasoline using online shopping this year.  FedEx, USPS and UPS are coming down our street every day anyway.  Many businesses did not even charge for shipping, and we were able to take advantage of sales online, too.  I highly recommend it!

How are you greening your Christmas?


How High Will They Go?

It’s even higher at $4.09 at the corner gas station on Kirby!  I can say I have never spent that kind of money on gasoline, but I may have to do that soon.  As a Realtor, I have to use my car for business, to take my clients to see properties, and to check on my listings regularly.  How can I save gasoline?

I have been working the last few years, to save a day a week when I don’t take my car out of the garage.  The result of this effort is not only saving money and gasoline, but the pollution, and wear and tear on the car.  It has also changed my way of scheduling the rest of the week.  I consolidate my errands, appointments and regular activities, so that I save time and gasoline, too.  For instance, my office is not far from my church.  If I need to drop something off at the office, I can easily arrange to do that before choir rehearsal at church, and on the way home from rehearsal, stop by the supermarket for grocery shopping, because it’s on the the route.  I seldom leave the house with only one stop on my agenda.

I also turn off the air conditioning in the car and open the roof window as much as possible.  This seems to really make a difference in gasoline consumption.  We’ve had a very mild winter, and I am scared that we will have an early summer, so I may not be able to do this much longer.

I noticed in January, I only filled my gas tank twice.  That is something I’d like to strive for every month.  I continued showing property, checking on clients’ homes, etc., but I was careful to plan.

How do you conserve gasoline?  Share your ideas so we can all make a difference in our pocketbooks, as well as our environment!