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December 6 2012

Groundwire's 2012 Holiday Survival Guide

Groundwire's guide to surviving a holiday season full of hipsters, ugly sweaters and indifferent babies.

Do the holidays have to mean stressing out about shopping and kicking our sustainability values to the curb? No!

Here's our guide to help you surviving a season filled with hipsters, ugly sweaters and indifferent babies.

Problem: I am drinking my weight in Eggnog Lattes and Caramel Apple Ciders

Here at Groundlandfillwire, we know that caffeine and sugar power the engine of social change and technological innovation. Fun fact: experts agree  (by which we mean we think it's plausible to assume) that the internet would have 60% fewer LOLCats if Mountain Dew did not exist. So far be it from us to talk you out of your daily habit. Still, you know those disposable cups are crazy wasteful, right? Landfills and the holidays go together like...wait, those don't go together at all!

ACE bottle


Pick up this lovely reusable thermos from our friends at Alliance for Climate Education, winners of Groundwire''s 2012 Connector Award for Engagement Leadership!  Even better, skip the corporate coffee shop and pick up some apple cider from your closest farmers market!  


Problem: I Need to buy a present for someone I'm mad at because they forgot my birthday gift tag

Ahhh...nothing like the holidays to bring out long simmering aggression. A quick analysis of any given shopping list will likely reveal at least one person that the buyer is actively holding a grudge against.  


Oregon Natural Desert Association's 2013 calendar is a truly stunning collection of photos. Just try to hold a grudgeONDA Calendar against anyone while looking at these gorgeous pictures. Feel free to "improve" on the calendar by writing in important dates about yourself so the gift recipient has no excuses not to call you on your birthday or anniversary or your pet gecko's birthday.


Problem: My grandma bought me an ugly Christmas sweater. Do I have to wear it?

Your grandma loves you. She may choose to express that love by purchasing for you (or, even more heart-breakingly, making for you) a very special holiday sweater that is so hideous you cannot believe it is an expressSweatersion of love. It is. Really, it is. If you are lucky, she gets you and her other grandkids the same sweater because then you have other people to commiserate with. Just so we are clear, you do need to wear that sweater at least once in your grandmother's presence. It is the least you can do.


We repeat, you need to wear that sweater at least once in your grandmother's presence. But it's understandable if Baseball Capsyou don't want anyone else to see you in your sweater. And if you are a good environmentalist who takes public transportation to grandma's house, you're going to need to don a pair of dark glasses and a baseball cap to get you through the bus ride without being ridiculed. Conservation Northwest has got you covered for baseball caps and you will love knowing that you can protect yourself from mockery while also helping protect wilderness areas from the Washington Coast to the BC Rockies. Do it for grandma.   

Problem: I am tempted to buy my friend's new baby ridiculously expensive clothingRalph Lauren Baby

Don't waste your money. Babies have no taste for nice things. How do we know? Because they eat strained peas! No one with taste eats that. Besides, when you buy a present for a baby you are usually just buying for the parents. Why not just get the parents a what they really want? Probably vodka if they are new parents. 


In Seattle, thanks to recent loosening of regulations leftover from Prohibition, you can get a great locally distilled vodka.

But if you somehow find vodka an inappropriate baby gift, how about making a donation in baby's honor to IslandWood? IslandWood's mission of connecting kids with nature will inspire even the most indifferent IslandWoodbaby and you'll feel good about supporting a program that helps all kinds of kids appreciate nature. Seattle, thanks to recent loosening of regulations leftover from Prohibition, you can get a great locally distilled vodka.

Problem: Is there anything besides PBR I can get for the hipsters on my list?  PBR Can

True fact! PBR is a terrible beer and every single person in the whole world who says they like it is lying. Spread the word.  



Buy your hipster friend a refillable growler and give them a map of all the nearby breweries where they might fill it up. (We have a special place in our heart for Fremont Brewing ). TWashington Bushen make a donation in said hipster's name to the Washington Bus. This merry band of "the kids these days" is a major force in getting Washington's hippest young citizens engaged in the political process. They are so awesome that we forgive them for drinking PBR.

Problem: Am I allowed to have pretty things?pretty things

Do you sometimes feels like caring about the world means embracing ugliness? Like you can't really love the world unless you live off a diet of flax seed oil and tofu and make your clothes out of table scraps and cardboard that you find in a dumpster?  

Sadly, not everyone can pull off a dress made of table scraps (Lady Gaga excepted, naturally) and dumpster diving isn't for everyone. So what is an aesthetically inclined do-gooder to do?  


Calm down, flex your mouse clicking fingers and head over to Pinterest, 2012's hottest social media site and the place where prettyinletkeeper mobile pictures go to hang out. If the Pinterest boards from groups like Grist and Natural Resources Defense Council don't convince you that you can have pretty things while caring about the planet, then how about checking out these definitely pretty note cards and mobiles available at Alaska's Cook Inletkeeper. Bottom line: you can have pretty. We promise.