Econundrum: 10 Greener Gift Ideas

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[We interrupt our Copenhagen coverage for this week’s Econundrum:]

This year, my Christmas shopping goal was simple: No gadgets. But I’m beginning to think an electronics-free Christmas might be harder to achieve than I thought: According to Amazon’s weekly list of top-selling Christmas gifts, grown-ups are going crazy for Kindles, while kids are clamoring for something called Chuck My Talking Truck (“Not only does Chuck have over 40 spoken phrases and sounds, he also drives to you when called and shakes his bumper and dump bed while chatting and ‘working.’”) Creepy.

Doubting my ability to resist booty-shaking dump trucks, I decided to prevail upon the MoJo hive brain. Courtesy of our smart, thrifty, and eco-minded staff, here are ten greener alternatives to Amazon’s top ten gifts. (If the idea of buying more stuff doesn’t appeal, sit tight till next week: DIY gift ideas are on their way.)

1. Instead of: Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes
Try: Animal Dolls are huggable plush toys based on kids’ drawings. Made of organic materials, 100 percent compostable. Completely free of “high quality and enjoyable classical melodies.” ($24.99 at animaldolls.com)

2. Instead of: Hoover Vacuum Cleaner
Try: A National Parks Pass. No lint in the great outdoors! ($80 at nps.gov/fees_passes)

3. Instead of: Bakugan 7 in 1 Maxus Dragonoid Figurines
Try: Anyu, the organic cotton ice pixie who hails from a polar ice cap. And you know what evil forces are at work up there. Just imagine the dramatic play possibilities. ($22.46 at greenfeet.com)

4. Instead of: Givenchy PLAY Eau de Toilette
Try: A pretty Japanese Furoshiki. Wear it, giftwrap with it, or carry your lunch in it. ($9-$34 at furoshiki.com)

5. Instead of: Amazon Kindle
Try: Something retro: A used book. Bonus points for a childhood favorite, or a cool one that’s gone out of print. (prices vary; try your local bookstore or powells.com)

6. Instead of: Lego Ultimate Building Set
Try: BPA-free tea set made from recycled milk jugs. ($25 at potterybarnkids.com)

7. Instead of: Bare Escentuals Make-up
Try: Something frivolous: Mercy Corp’s Women’s Leadership kits. “Give women the resources to turn their ideas and energy into successful small businesses.” ($50 at mercycorps.org/mercykits)

8. Instead of: Levi’s Jeans
Try: Recycled shirt from Stella Neptune. I like this one, which features a jaunty skull wearing a slightly askew crown. ($68 at stellaneptune.com)

9. Instead of: Crocs
Try: Acorn Eco-Wrap Slippers, made of earth friendly fibers, including hemp, wool and yak. ($25.74 at sierratradingpost.com)

10. Instead of: Playskool’s Chuck My Talking Truck
Try:  Recycling truck from Green Toys, Inc. Made in the USA from recycled milk jugs; shipped responsibly. Never too early to learn proper sorting. ($21.95 at greenfeet.com)
 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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