Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Retail Philanthropy:" Gifts That Keep Giving

In this holiday season, even if you are a die hard eco-warrior with many-a-good-intention to cut back the giving of "stuff," sometimes you just can't help it.  There are people in your life who you love, and (especially if they are li'l ones), the holidays are synonymous with wish lists and wants.

One way to combat the consumption and commercialism of Christmas is to give gifts that give back.  Here are some of my favorite ones:  (At check out, enter code: EAGLECOVE1011)......... Eagle Cove School and CynerGreen have partnered to create a school fundraising site. There, all items are Earth-friendly, and 20% of each purchase goes to support Eagle Cove School, a Maryland Green School in Pasadena, Maryland. As a great aside, if you'd like to create a similar eco fundraising site for your school/organization, go to  A lot of schools know about "Box Tops For Education."  You've seen those li'l pink box tops all over your pantry items.  Well, now there is a whole "eBox Top" marketplace.  By starting your online shopping spree at the site above, you can link into a number of well-known stores (big box, boutique, and beyond)...then your school can earn electronic "eBox Tops"--which equals more money down the line for your organization.  To find out more about the stores involved, go to .  If your school isn't signed up and you aren't sure who to support, "Eagle Cove School," is ALWAYS a great options!  At "A Little Green House," you can take advantage of both eco-friendly finds and creations by Maryland artisans while doing your gift-shopping.  In addition to that, local companies and non-profit organizations (of your choice) can benefit from your purchase by receiving 25% of your sales.  Currently, you can choose between 11 Chesapeake Bay & Annapolis area nonprofits to support including the Annapolis Opera, the Cheasapeake Bay Environmental CenterMaryland State Firemen's Association, or St. Andrews UM Day School.   If toys are what you are in pursuit of, "Careful Planet Toy's" is an online toy store that might be for you.  All items are made of recycled, biodegradable, and sustainably-safe materials. Their vendors operate in an "ecologically conscious" way...from manufacturing to packaging.  They carry items from companies such as Bioviva Games, Eco Angles, Green Toys, ImagiPLAY, Late for the Sky, Maple Landmark, miYim, Sabamba Bikes, Schylling, and Sprig Toys.  Uptown Liz is a company that was created after the founder's sister died of breast cancer at the young age of 28.  The mission of the company:  to "promote products from companies whose proceeds directly give back to charitable organizations.  You can shop on this one-of-a-kind Web site by charitable cause or product category." There, you'll find "art, clothing, jewelry, house wares, beauty and eco-friendly products (just to name a few) that benefit charities all over the world."  You will find a lot of cool items there
  At Tattered Cover, as a "Tattered Cover Gives Back" member, 1% of your pre-tax sale goes to one of 2-dozen+ Denver-area non-profit partners.  Partners include the Blair-Caldwell African American Research LibraryThe Children's Museum of Denver Literacy ProgramsColorado Public Radio, KCFR/KVODThe Colorado Symphony OrchestraDenver Urban GardensHabitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, among many more

    So as you are shopping, especially if you are like me and would rather do it from the comfort of your own computer rather than going out in the world to wrestle the traffic and the havoc, these are some great places to start!  Shop with a purpose to make the season doubly meaningful.

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