I received this on email today - thanks Heike, and wanted to share...
Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Australians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Australian labour.
This year will be different. This year Australians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Australians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Australian hands. Yes there is!
It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Australian hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Australian-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamin s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.
There are a lots of Australian owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half-dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Australians with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the Australian working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mum? Mum would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewellery, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and cafes. Or what about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the postie, garbo or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Australian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging Australian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.
And, when we care about other Australians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine .
THIS is the new Australian Christmas tradition.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?
So I'm sure it's obvious that I'm pretty fussy when it comes to products. Especially if those products are going to end up on my skin or in my veggie patch.
Until now, I had never found cleaning products that met all my criteria:
Look out for it in my store soon, or pre-order it today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
I received this via email today (thanks Mike-o-saurus). I don't know who the author is, but it struck a chord with me, as I'm often referring to life before "the disposable age" as a sustainable time we can learn a lot from. And you know it is only 2 generations ago. We have not 'devolved' so far that we can's return there.
The Green Thing - Author unknown
In the line at the supermarket, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologized to her and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."
She was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the factory to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. They were recycled.
But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby's nappies because they didn't have the throw-away kind.. They dried clothes on a line, not in a 220 volt energy gobbling machine - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that old lady is right; they didn't have the green thing back in her day.
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of a cricket pitch. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. They didn't have air conditioning or electric stoves with self cleaning ovens. They didn't have battery operated toys, computers, or telephones.
Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn fuel just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They used hand operated clippers to trim the shrubs. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right; they didn't have the green thing back then.
They drank from a glass filled from the tap when they were thirsty instead of using a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But they didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people walked or took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?
A nature loving professional sharing ideas to do good in the world.