the vast majority Precursor of raspberry ketone Benefits of raspberry ketones

Beach Cleanup and End-of-Year Get-Together this Sat

Posted on November 30th, 2015 in Beach Clean-up,CAS Activities,Events,Fund Raising,Green Gift Ideas by Dana Winograd

Hi everyone,

Here are the details for our last clean up of the year. We hope you can join us.

BEACH CLEANUP
When: 9am-12pm, Dec 5
Where: Sam Pak Wan (North Plaza beach)

Please bring a reusable water bottle, wear appropriate clothes for the weather and closed-toe shoes. We supply gloves, bags and water refills.

END OF YEAR GET-TOGETHER
When: 12-5pm, Dec 5
Where: Discovery Bay International School (DBIS)

There will be a sale of gently-used toys, decorations and new Christmas cards at the get-together.

We’re also having a BBQ to celebrate the end of another great year. Join us for a snack and a drink at DBIS – all of the day’s proceeds to go to Plastic Free Seas.

DONATIONS WANTED
If you have any loose or boxed cards hanging around, any decorations that never seem to make it on your tree or good condition toys to donate, please drop them off at DBIS this Wed, Thurs, or Fri morning at DBIS from 8.00 – 8.30am.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR THE GET-TOGETHER!
Please send an email to Tracey(@plasticfreeseas.org) if you can help.

 

PFS Christmas Sale 2015

Pollution Free Christmas Gifts at the DBIS Food Fair!

Posted on November 14th, 2014 in Events,Fund Raising,Green Gift Ideas,Recycling,Resources by Kate Wade
Dear DB Green,
I was forwarded this great idea by email… thought you might be interested!
If you have items that you don’t think make the grade or don’t get around to by the 22nd November there is the flea market in the plaza on the 7th December 12noon to 5pm. All the charity stalls (including DB Green) are on the back wall from the bank to the Post Office so you can bring your items to donate to us then. Volunteers welcome for that too! We have a large stock pile as there was a long time between flea markets this time so would be happy for some help!
Cheers,
Kate
.
.
.
“Dear friends and neighbors,
Please read below about the stall I will be running at the DBIS Food Fair on November 22nd to reduce the environmental impact of Christmas shopping while raising funds for Enrich, the charity I founded to support the economic empowerment of migrant women. Hope that many of you will be able to come to the fair and bring with you your unwanted gifts and quality new like toys and games.
If you are not able to attend the fair but are interested in donating items please email myriam@enrichhk.org to make another arrangement.  Please note that this is not a flea market. Please only donate quality new like toys and games that would make suitable Christmas gifts for DB kids aged under 12.
If we have enough interest and donations, I plan to run an additional Christmas gift sale at my flat on Tuesday 2nd December 9am-11am and 8-9pm so that you can do your Christmas shopping without the kids. Please let me know if you are interested in this and I will share photos of what toys are available. Please do also let me know if you would like volunteer to help me run any of these events.
Thank you very much for your kind support on this. Welcome to share this message with friends.
Best wishes,
Myriam”
.
.
 
Air pollution in Hong Kong gets very bad in autumn. Why? This is the time when factories across the border are rushing to fill orders in time for Christmas gift shoppers around the world.  Workers work overtime and toxic air coming out of the factories is at an all-time high.
 
How would our air in DB smell and look if no one bought new gifts for Christmas?
 
This year the DBIS Food Fair will have a stall selling quality second hand children’s toys so that parents can buy a Christmas gift for their children without damaging the planet.
 
Please support this effort by donating your unwanted gifts and lightly used quality toys: especially wooden toys and complete board games and puzzles for kids up to the age of 12.
This stall will benefit Hong Kong charity Enrich which supports the economic empowerment of migrant women, primarily domestic workers (helpers). Not only does your support reduce the consumption and production of new toys, the money raised goes towards Enrich’s programmes in Hong Kong www.enrichhk.org

To donate, simply drop your items off at Enrich’s stall in front of the DBIS Globe Theatre, anytime from 11.30am to 1pm on November 22nd, the day of the fair.

Unsold gifts will be offered at a reduced price to domestic workers who want to send Christmas gifts home to their own children, or sold at the DB flea market to raise funds for DB charities.

Little MIss Green final stock sale 7 & 8th April

Posted on April 7th, 2014 in Events,Green Gift Ideas by Kate Wade
Hi DB Green,
Here is a message from Tracey- one of our founding members. As her NGO Plastic Free Seas is going ahead in leaps and bounds, she has no time to continue with her eco gift store Little Miss Green The Party Queen, so she is selling off all her stock over the next couple of days! See her message below. Great time to get in and get a bargain for your kiddies, their friends numerous birthday parties and other family and little friends! See the message from Tracey below.
Shop GREEN!
Kate
.
.
.
.
Hello friend of Little Miss Green,

The absolute final stock clearance from Little Miss Green The Party Queen will be on 7 and 8 April at 3H Seabee Lane in Discovery Bay   9-5pm

Everything is reduced to clear.  Please note sale prices are not listed on the website, only available in person on Monday and Tuesday.
Piggy Paint nail polish  – $70
Wooden games, toys, puzzles and jigsaws from $20
Organic cotton toys and clothes from $40
Fabric decorations and party bags from $10
Sandwich wraps for waste free lunches from $50
Beeswax birthday candle pack $20
Much, much more from 50c …
2 days only,  Please help me spread the word.  Come and say goodbye!
Thank you so much to all my loyal customers over the years.
Thanks,
Tracey
6222 3244

Green Gifts 2009- English and Chinese Translation

Posted on January 29th, 2009 in Green Gift Ideas by Michele Felder

GREEN GIFTS by Michele Felder
Translated by Vicky Lau

I have been on a personal mission the last few Christmases. A mission to reduce the amount of Stuff that comes into our house. Especially Stuff that is opened, reviewed, and quickly forgotten. Just ask kids about the 5-letter word that their parents utter loudly as they tour their rooms or the playroom – STUFF!

過去幾年聖誕節,我一直從事一件個人的使命。一個使命,以減少物品進入我們家的數量。尤其是東
西總是被打開,審查,並很快被遺忘。只要問問孩子,父母參觀他們的房間或遊戲房間時, 難免大聲
說出的5字母單詞 – STUFF (東西)!

Last year, we took a vow of fewer gifts for the kids, which we implemented with some success. We also came up with an idea to give activity gift vouchers (quality time spent together) instead of ‘things’. At first we weren’t sure that giving a voucher for a “hike with mommy” or a “dinner at a restaurant of your choice” to the kids would quite measure up to the thrill of tearing off wrapping paper and seeing the latest electronic toy or plastic-encased item from Toys R Us, but surprisingly these gifts ended up being the most valued ones after the Christmas day ‘high’ had passed. The goal was one on one time between one parent and one child and it worked! They even asked for more.

去年,我們鼓勵家長們誓言要較少送禮物給孩子們,而我們的實施獲得了一些成功。我們也想出了一
個主意,送活動禮券(在一起度過具備品質的時間),而不是 ‘東西’ 。首先,我們不能肯定給予 ”
與媽媽遠足” 或 “上一家你選擇的餐館晚宴” 的優惠券會否討好孩子們達到相當程度於撕裂禮物包
裝紙,看到從玩具反鬥城買來的最新電子玩具或塑膠外殼的禮物的快感,但意外地這些禮卷卻是拆耶
誕節禮物當天最被珍愛的禮物。該計畫的目標是為一位家長和一個孩子安排一對一的時間,而這奏
效!孩子們甚至要求更多。

So, as I was contemplating how to further reduce Stuff, it occurred to me that we could make all our gifts work harder. We could give environmentally-friendly gifts to family members who wouldn’t normally consider them. We could buy books or products that supported an environmental or education organization. We could donate money to a charity in their name. In fact, when I started thinking about it, I realized that there was a whole world of potential gifts that could support our environmental ideals of reducing consumption and waste, but also engaging and supporting us in our mission to improve the way we live.

因此,當我正在考慮如何進一步減少東西時,我發現我們可以更加努力地為我們所有需要送出的禮物
而工作。我們可以給從不正常考慮環保的家庭成員送上環保禮品。我們可以購買支援環保和教育組織
的書籍或產品。我們可以送禮物件的名義捐錢給慈善機構。事實上,當我開始思考,我認識到,有一
個潛在的世界讓我們挑選禮物,可以支援我們的環保理想,減少消費和浪費,而且還參與和支持我們
的使命,以改善我們的生活方式。

So here are some ideas of ways to be more environmentally friendly during the holidays:

因此,这里有一些度过節日更环保的方式:

REDUCE 降低
As a starting point, get the whole family to watch 作為一個起點,讓全家人觀看
” The Story of Stuff ” (物件的故事) http://www.storyofstuff.com/ – this is a great video that talks about where stuff comes from and what happens to it when we are done. Gets you thinking about whether we really need more.

這是一個偉大的視頻,談論的東西來自於和會發生什麼的時候,以我們正在做。能讓你思考,我們是
否真的需要更多。

Next, give gift vouchers for activities together, in other words, time not things!

下一步,給予一起活動的禮券,換句話說,送時間而不是送物件!

Your kids or spouse will be surprised and perhaps a bit initially confused, but ultimately, we have loved the activities we did one on one and the kids even asked for more certificates! With our busy lives, we found that the 1:1 activities felt the most special since we rarely get that dedicated time. You can be quite creative with what the certificates look like: hand-written in a card, create your own ‘official’ template on the computer, download a standard template in your document program of choice. Here are some ideas for activities to do together:
hikes/walks, dinner at restaurant of their choice, sports together (bike ride, rugby, soccer, frisbee, kayak), Disneyland or Ocean Park or Museum visit; movie or Omnimax of their choice; nice picnic lunch with a book or board game; girls – manicure/pedicure voucher together with mom; spouse – date night or tickets to show.

您的孩子或配偶將感到很驚訝,也許最初有點混亂,但最終,我們愛我們一對一的活動, 孩子們甚至
要求有更多的禮券!在繁忙的日常生活中,我們發現, 1:1的活動,感覺得最特別,因為我們很少會
專門為對方花時間。你可以很創意的把禮卷設計成什麼樣子:親手寫的卡片,在自己的電腦上創建的
‘官方’範本,從標準程式檔中選擇下載一個範本等。
這裏有一些主意,活動,一起做:遠足/散步,在餐廳吃讓對方自己選擇的飯,一起運動(騎車,橄
欖球,足球,乒乓球,皮划艇),迪士尼樂園或海洋公園 或博物館參觀; 全天域電影 或讓對方選擇
的; 好的野餐, 午餐, 一本書 或棋盤, 遊戲等;
女孩 – 連同媽媽的 修指甲/修腳券 ;
配偶 – 夜間或日間的展覽門票。

Sponsor or donate to a cause of their choice. I have a mother-in-law who is dedicated to animals. This year I donated on her behalf to the SPCA. They will send her a certificate that says what she has ‘purchased’ (a dog bed and toys) and will also provide her a quarterly magazine to keep up with the local activities and issues. Most organizations now provide some kind of card or certificate, but make sure they send it to your gift-ee and thank them, rather than you. For global organizations, you may want to donate in the country where they live or for a particular program they would be interested in. Here are some ideas of organizations you can consider (environmental and other):

以他們的名義,贊助或捐贈。我有一位致力於愛護動物的婆婆大人。今年,我以她的名義向香港愛
護動物協會捐助。他們將送她一份禮券,證明說她可購買 什麼(狗床,玩具),並還將提供她季刊
跟上當地的活動和問題。現在大多數組織都有提供某種形式的卡或禮券,但要確保它們發送給對方作
為禮物啊,并感謝他們,而不是你。對於全球性組織,您可能會想捐贈至對方的居住國或他們關注的
某一特定項目,這裏是一些您可以考慮的組織(環保及其他):

www.animalsasia.org/ ;
http://www.wwf.org/ ;
http://www.seabirds.org/adopt.htm ;
http://www.spca.com/ ;
http://www.conservation.org/ ;
http://www.heifer.org/ ;
www.roomtoread.org ;
http://oxfamunwrapped.oxfam.org.hk/index.php?lang=eng ; http://www.greenpeace.org/international/
http://www.greenaction.org.hk/?cat=33 (Plantation foundation 植林基金會 )

RE-USE AND RECYCLE 再利用和再迴圈
If you do buy a physical gift, make your spending count by buying or sending products from recycled materials. There is an amazing selection of creative ideas appearing everywhere these days. Some can be bought locally, some are online. Do a search online for ‘recycled gifts’ and you’ll see all kinds of ideas.

如果您購買實物的禮物,請把您的支出用來購買或發送再生材料的產品。現今各地出現一個驚人的創
意選擇。有些可以在當地購買,一些人上網。做網上搜索’回收禮品’ ,你會看到各種各樣的想法。

In Hong Kong, look for 在香港,尋找
www.bezandoho.com (cool bags made from used colourful rice sacks (以色彩繽紛的大米用麻袋製造成別具特色的布袋)
Internationally 國際:
http://www.greentoys.com/ ;
http://www.reusablebags.com/ ;
http://www.wornagain.co.uk/ ;
http://repurposed4you.com/shop/ ;
http://www.carbonneutral.com/shop/index.asp ;
www.patagonia.com/ (clothing made from recycled polyester) (服装由回收聚酯物料制成);
www.timberland.com/ (boots made with recycled rubber and organic components) (靴子由再生橡膠和有機物料組成);
http://aardbird.com/recycledfleece.aspx (products from recycled plastic) (回收塑膠產品);
http://www.ecotopia.co.uk/pages/default.aspx ;
http://www.carbonneutral.com/shop/index.asp

SUSTAINABLE可持續發展
A lot of different gifts can fall into this category, whether you consider clothing made from bamboo or organic cotton, organic food and wine, fair trade products, natural soaps and lotions, solar chargers for electronics. Really if we just think for a few minutes, we could choose to only buy products that are made responsibly and sustainably.
As a gift you could give a basket of organic fruit and cheese, select some lotions or soaps made naturally, or give a soft blanket made from bamboo.

很多不同的禮物可以納入這一類:你是否考慮過從竹子或有機棉制做成的服裝、有機食品和酒、公平
貿易產品、自然肥皂和潤膚劑、太陽能充電器的電子產品等等…。真的,如果我們能思想幾分鐘,我
們可以選擇只買負責任的和可持續的產品。作為禮物,你能給對方一籃子的有機水果和乳酪,選擇一

些潤膚劑或肥皂了自然,或給予竹子編的軟毯。

In Hong Kong, look for these companies 在香港,尋找這些公司:
http://www.ecosensehk.com/ ;
www.kinoa-shop.com/ ;
http://www.threesixtyhk.com/ (in Central)
Internationally or with local distribution, consider these products which have a foundational ethic of producing eco-friendly sustainable products:

在國際上或與當地的分佈,請考慮這些具有一個基本的道德觀念而產 生生態友好的可持續的產品:

Tom’s of Maine; Burt’s Bees ; Body Shop (fair trade products) ; beer home brewing products
http://www.breworganic.com/index.asp ;
For saving electricity consider a solar charger for the iPhone 為了節電請考慮太陽能充電器為 iPhone充電http://www.solararcadia.com/products/iphone-solar-charger-01 or other electronic devices 或其他電子設備:
http://www.solio.com/charger/index.htm ;
or solar battery chargers from Kinoa-online ; or a nice basket of assorted CFLs 或從Kinoa網上購買太陽能電池充電器; 或一好籃子的各類CFLs?

EDUCATIONAL 教育
Educating kids and adults about the environment is also a great way to use your spending power! There are a million books and magazines out there about the environment, but here is a small selection of ideas to consider.

教育孩子和成人關於環保也是一個偉大的使用您購買力的方式!市面有萬冊屬於環保的圖書和雜
誌,但這裏是一個小的選擇的意見給予大家加以考慮。

Subscription to National Geographic’s Magazine on environmental living, The Green Guide 訂閱美國國家地
理雜誌的環境生活題材 ’綠色指南’
http://www.thegreenguide.com/ , paper version or digital 印刷版或電子版(save trees and reduce carbon from shipping 拯救樹木和減少來自航運的二氧化碳
Books for kids about saving the planet 給孩子們關於拯救地球的圖書
http://www.bogeybugz.com/book.html available at 可以在以下商店買到
Page One, Dymocks and Bookazine, as well as from Little Miss Green the Party Queen. 圖書資料
“Living Green in Hong Kong” — Catherine Touzard
“Hot, Flat, and Crowded” – Thomas Friedman
“Animal, vegetable, miracle” – Barbara Kingsolver
“The Economics of Climate Change:The Stern Review” – Nicholas Stern
“50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth” (updated and revised) – by John Javna, Sophie Javna, Jesse Javna

NEED MORE GIFT IDEAS 需要更多的禮物的想法
Check these sites 檢查這些網站:
http://www.thegreenguide.com/issue.mhtml?i=111
http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=5616
http://www.treehugger.com/giftguide/
Have some creative ideas we didn’t include 若有一些創造性的想法,而我們並未包括?
Please write back with suggestions 歡迎來信提供 ‘綠色的禮物主意’
Happy shopping and giving 祝您快樂購物與付出!

Have a Merry Green Christmas!

Posted on December 11th, 2008 in Green Gift Ideas by Michele Felder

I have been on a personal mission the last few Christmases. A mission to reduce the amount of Stuff that comes into our house. Especially Stuff that is opened, reviewed, and quickly forgotten.  Just ask my kids about the 5-letter word that I utter loudly as I tour their rooms or the playroom – STUFF!

Last year, we took a vow of fewer gifts for the kids, which we implemented with some success. We also came up with an idea to give activity gift vouchers (quality time spent together) instead of ‘things’. At first we weren’t sure that giving a voucher for a “hike with mommy” or a “dinner at a restaurant of your choice” to the kids would quite measure up to the thrill of tearing off wrapping paper and seeing the latest electronic toy or plastic-encased item from Toys R Us, but surprisingly these gifts ended up being the most valued ones after the Christmas day ‘high’ had passed.  The goal was one on one time between one parent and one child and it worked!  They even asked for more. 

So, as I was contemplating how to further reduce Stuff, it occurred to me that we could make all our gifts work harder.  We could give environmentally-friendly gifts to family members who wouldn’t normally consider them. We could buy books or products that supported an environmental or education organization.  We could donate money to a charity in their name. In fact, when I started thinking about it, I realized that there was a whole world of potential gifts that could support our environmental ideals of reducing consumption and waste, but also engaging and supporting us in our mission to improve the way we live. 

So here are some ideas of ways to be more environmentally friendly during the holidays:

REDUCE

As a starting point, get the whole family to watch “The Story of Stuff” http://www.storyofstuff.com/ – this is a great video that talks about where stuff comes from and what happens to it when we are done. Gets you thinking about whether we really need more. 

Next, give gift vouchers for activities together, in other words, time not things! Your kids or spouse will be surprised and perhaps a bit initially confused, but ultimately, we have loved the activities we did one on one and the kids even asked for more certificates!  With our busy lives, we found that the 1:1 activities felt the most special since we rarely get that dedicated time.  You can be quite creative with what the certificates look like: hand-written in a card, create your own ‘official’ template on the computer, download a standard template in your document program of choice.  Here are some ideas for activities to do together: hikes/walks, dinner at restaurant of their choice, sports together (bike ride, rugby, soccer, frisbee, kayak), Disneyland or Ocean Park or Museum visit; movie or Omnimax of their choice; nice picnic lunch with a book or board game; girls – manicure/pedicure voucher together with mom; spouse – date night or  tickets to show.

Sponsor or donate to a cause of their choice.  I have a mother-in-law who is dedicated to animals. This year I donated on her behalf to the SPCA. They will send her a certificate that says what she has ‘purchased’ (a dog bed and toys) and will also provide her a quarterly magazine to keep up with the local activities and issues.  Most organizations now provide some kind of card or certificate, but make sure they send it to your gift-ee and thank them, rather than you.  For global organizations, you may want to donate in the country where they live or for a particular program they would be interested in. Here are some ideas of organizations you can consider (environmental and other):  www.animalsasia.org  ; http://www.wwf.org/ ; http://www.seabirds.org/adopt.htm ; http://www.spca.com/ ; http://www.conservation.org/ ; http://www.heifer.org/ ; www.roomtoread.org ; http://oxfamunwrapped.oxfam.org.hk/index.php?lang=eng ; http://www.greenpeace.org/international/

RE-USE AND RECYCLE

If you do buy a physical gift, make your spending count by buying or sending products from recycled materials. There is an amazing selection of creative ideas appearing everywhere these days.  Some can be bought locally, some are online.  Do a search online for ‘recycled gifts’ and you’ll see all kinds of ideas. 

In Hong Kong, look for www.bezandoho.com (cool bags made from used colourful rice sacks)

Internationally: http://www.greentoys.com/ ; http://www.reusablebags.com/ ; http://www.wornagain.co.uk/ ; http://repurposed4you.com/shop/ ; http://www.carbonneutral.com/shop/index.asp ; www.patagonia.com (clothing made from recycled polyester) ; www.timberland.com (boots made with recycled rubber and organic components) ; http://aardbird.com/recycledfleece.aspx (products from recycled plastic) ; http://www.ecotopia.co.uk/pages/default.aspx ; http://www.carbonneutral.com/shop/index.asp

SUSTAINABLE

A lot of different gifts can fall into this category, whether you consider clothing made from bamboo or organic cotton, organic food and wine, fair trade products, natural soaps and lotions, solar chargers for electronics. Really if we just think for a few minutes, we could choose to only buy products that are made responsibly and sustainably.  As a gift you could give a basket of organic fruit and cheese, select some lotions or soaps made naturally, or give a soft blanket made from bamboo.

In Hong Kong, look for these companies: http://www.ecosensehk.com/ ; www.kinoa-shop.com (in DB) ; http://www.threesixtyhk.com/  (in Central)

Internationally or with local distribution, consider these products which have a foundational ethic of producing eco-friendly sustainable products:  Tom’s of Maine; Burt’s Bees (available at GNC) ; Body Shop (fair trade products) ; beer home brewing products  http://www.breworganic.com/index.asp ;

For saving electricity consider a solar charger for the iPhone : http://www.solararcadia.com/products/iphone-solar-charger-01 or other electronic devices: http://www.solio.com/charger/index.htm ; or solar battery chargers from Kinoa-online ; or a nice basket of assorted CFLs?

EDUCATIONAL

Educating kids and adults about the environment is also a great way to use your spending power!  There are a million books and magazines out there about the environment, but here is a small selection of ideas to consider.

Subscription to National Geographic’s Magazine on environmental living, The Green Guide: http://www.thegreenguide.com/, paper version or digital (save trees and reduce carbon from shipping!)

Books for kids about saving the planet: http://www.bogeybugz.com/book.html  available at Page One, Dymocks and Bookazine, as well as from DB business Little Miss Green the Party Queen.

“Living Green in Hong Kong” — Catherine Touzard (DB author)

“Hot, Flat, and Crowded”   – Thomas Friedman

“Animal, vegetable, miracle” – Barbara Kingsolver

“The Economics of Climate Change:The Stern Review” – Nicholas Stern

“50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth” (updated and revised) – by John Javna, Sophie Javna, Jesse Javna [also a kids version available]

 NEED MORE GIFT IDEAS?  

Check these sites:

http://www.thegreenguide.com/issue.mhtml?i=111

http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=5616

http://www.treehugger.com/giftguide/

 Have some creative ideas we didn’t include? Add them to the website at www.dbgreen.org under ‘green gift ideas’.  Happy shopping and giving!

 -Michele

The Story Of Stuff

Posted on December 23rd, 2007 in Book Reviews,Green Gift Ideas by Kate Wade

What is the Story of Stuff?

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.
It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Green Gift Ideas

Posted on December 13th, 2007 in Green Gift Ideas by Kate Wade

Firstly, for having a green Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary etc we should all be shopping LESS! Cutting down on our consumerism and our need for ‘stuff’! After writing this a friend sent me this fantastic video. Gather your family and colleagues and click on this site and play this fabulous movie- it takes some time but it gives you the big picture and makes it very clear just what is happening!!
WATCH IT NOW !!!!!

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/12/11/awesome-video-you-need-to-see-before-you-start-holiday-shopping.aspx

So, when you can, choose to buy less ‘things/products’ and more ‘events/services’. Even a gift of vouchers means the receiver will be more likely to purchase only what they want, plus the added advantage of buying things when sales are on after Christmas. Homemade gifts are the ultimate gift as they are made with the person’s actual time (rather than wallet) and is there a more precious commodity?

If you really have to get ‘things’ go for quality rather than quantity- things that last a life time or that can be passed down from generation to generation or passed onto another family. I found it astounding on that video that only 1% of products was still being used 6 months after purchase- that is horrific to me!! No more rubbishy market shopping for me- and I certainly have been guilty of it in the past!!

Second hand goods are even better- I guess that includes genuine antiques as well!

Edible items that will be consumed rather than cluttering up your house are another great gift. Fairly traded items and items made by communities that are in a great deal of poverty mean that your gifts are actually bought with a clear conscience rather than dodgy manufacturers subjecting their staff to poor working conditions/sweatshops. These communities usually make items from natural and recycled materials.

Here are some of the ideas we’ve collectively had for green gifts:

“I gave my husband a glass blowing class a while back. He hasn’t done it yet, so can’t say if it’s any good or not, but they look pretty professional. I hope he’ll do one soon. http://www.glasstudio.hk/Class.html “ Sounds like great fun!!

The book by DB author Catherine Touzard “Going Green In Hong Kong” is a perfect gift for all your Hong Kong friends. $120 in Dymocks or you can buy through DB Green. Buy 3 for $300 from us and your Christmas shopping for friends is done! Call me 9810 9070 or 29875071.

Save a Bear from Animals Asia who rescue moon bears from bile farms in China. For $623 you receive a photo of your bear or you can pay for bear’s meals for anywhere from one week to a year. I think this could be the coolest gift for children. Imagine being able to go around saying I got a bear for Christmas!! www.animalsasia.org

“reusable water bottle”

“gift voucher for kinoa or three sixty organic store” contact Gaelle at gaelle@kinoa-shop.com for your voucher requirement or visit the website www.kinoa-shop.com . Three Sixty has vouchers in $50 and $100 amounts and both these shops would possibly introduce your friends to an alternative to PnS for their goods. (As an aside, the new organic shop next to PARKnSHOP is struggling I believe and has dropped their prices to compete with PnS. So if you went in when it first opened and found it too expensive please give it another shot. Not only this, but they have a policy to employ people from disadvantaged backgrounds so there is 2 good reasons to shop there first before entering into PnS.)

“ecoballs, soapnuts to start someone on their way to eco cleanliness” – again kinoa has these products www.kinoa-shop.com

“Another gift idea … buy a pig or goat … on several charity websites (including careaustralia.com) you can make a donation which enables a village to purchase a pig or goat, whatever they want/need or is religiously relevant. Of course this is for milk (goat only don’t suppose pig’s milk’s too nice!!) and eating so if doing it on behalf of a child you have to tread carefully (though I have to say the children we’ve done it for seem to approach it in a very practical way)”

“Last year as gifts for friends and family, we made donations made in individual’s names to charitable organizations in Hong Kong. We picked our favourite 2 environmental, 2 animal related, and 2 social welfare charities and compiled the list with a brief description of the organizations which we gave out with greeting cards for everyone to choose one from. It worked out really well – all we had to do was go to the bank to make the deposits in everyone’s names. It was fulfilling for everyone, and there was nothing wasted! No time or money wasted… no packaging… and no wrapping!! We are planning to do the same this year with our families – maybe sending out greetings by email instead of cards.” Examples are: WWFHK, Greenpeace HK, Medicine sans Frontier HK, Oxfam HK. Some links below:

List of charities based in Hong Kong:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Charities_based_in_Hong_Kong

http://www.geoexpat.com/resources/organisations/charity/oxfam-hong-kong/details/

www.crossroads.org.hk

Give your partner the gift of a life skill with a first aid course. Conducted over 2 nights with 2 hrs each night this DB course is perfect if you haven’t done a First Aid course for a while- or ever. There are also courses available for helpers. Ph Anthea through Island Health 29877575 and she can make a gift voucher up for you. This is what I’m getting my hubby for Christmas.

How about an adventure. DB resident Mary Jones has a brother involved with an organisation that does volunteer work in South Africa. See the following website: http://www.aviva-sa.com/index.htm There is a range of adventures from a couple of days to 28 days and more.

“Swimming with the dolphins at Ocean Park is on my wish list for Christmas! Or what about photography (or other) lessons.”

Give a movie ticket gift coupon (IFC $60) or gift card (IFC$150 and $300) to indulge in a cinematic delight/s in 2008. www.cinema.com.hk I imagine Tung Chung has a similar gift voucher.

Gift vouchers just about everywhere. In DB there is Sense of Touch for facials, massages etc and Philippe from Chef Pour Toi has gift vouchers to choose some Maxwell Williams crockery and other table and kitchen ware or why not cooking classes- great fun. www.chefpourtoi.com (also Cc’d above)

Is there an event or show happening in 2008 that you can give as a gift? How about a night at the comedy club or a play or a concert or opera or musical www.hkticketing.com/eng/ http://urbtix.cityline.com.hk/internet/action/index.do

GIVE A GIFT THAT WILL LAST FOR LIFETIMES… PLAN B 3.0: MOBILIZING TO SAVE CIVILIZATION a new book by Lester R. Brown filled with solutions to the problems the world is facing. Take a look at Chapter 1, “Entering a New World” at http://www.earthpolicy.org/Books/PB3/pb3ch1.pdf and visit the website http://www.earthpolicy.org

Photography classes www.maurofieni.com Cc’d above for adults and children

Piano lessons adult/ children Ph 97077994

Musical instrument lessons and used instruments from Michael in DB 6076 2849

Courses in drawing/ watercolours/ oil painting/ Chinese painting/ calligraphy from the HK Academy of Fine Arts (HKAFA) call 2385 9929

Art classes for adult/ children in DB, call Lan Nguyen 2914 1160 or 9819 4951

Clothes by American Apparel found in the plaza at Rush and they guarantee none of it’s pieces are made in sweatshops.

Xtreme Green at www.xtremegreen.com.hk has clothes for adults and children made with organic cotton and their shop is in Sheung Wan.

Belly Dancing classes at the School of Arab Dances 10 lessons for $1110. Ph 2525 2503.

Fringe Club Membership for people interested in the Hong Kong Art, music scene, courses, renting the venue, dinner at M at the Fringe (my favourite restaurant for special occasions) etc all comes with good discounts for a membership card valued at $300 plus $300 joining fee. www.hkfringeclub.com.hk

Pole dancing lessons to get in shape I hear are a lot of fun! www.poledivas-hk.com 8 classes for $1880

A dinner outing somewhere nice, visit to Disneyland or Ocean Park- just don’t be tempted to buy all the commercial ‘stuff’ at the end of the day.

Homemade cooking. Pull out that famous chutney recipe from great Aunt Maud or homemade jam, cookies, fruit mince pies, chocolate truffles or whatever. You can’t get past this for the ultimate Christmas indulgence and warm fuzzy feeling for both giver and receiver.

For fair trade items check out Global Handicrafts Tuen Mun www.globalhandicrafts.org with ethnic, handmade products from around the world. The craftsmen are all struggling against economic hardship.

Donate to Heifer Hong Kong a non profit organisation which donates income producing animals such as cows sheep and geese to charity projects throughout China and gives animal care training to the recipients also. www.heiferhk.org

“…. buy someone one of those re-usable coffee cups that pacific coffee or uncle Russ will fill up for you. They used to be sold by all the coffee shops ….. try Starbucks. As I remember they had a slot down the side where the seller slide the name of their coffee shop (at least the star bucks ones did – maybe they still sell them?) and perhaps the giver of the present could slide a photo of the family in there instead?”

Added bonus when you get a cup of coffee in your own mug your coffee is $1 less at Pacific Coffee.

Find more ideas in Inside Db and various magazines about town. Please feel free to add to this list and throughout the year we will try and keep it updated so there is always an idea for gifts for birthdays etc for you and your loved ones.

Spend wisely!!