Monday, December 24, 2007


Christmas is a time of year that must give the ecologically-sensitive veritable conniptions at the thought of its huge gift-wrapped carbon footprint. Writers of the 'Eco-centric' blog, Matthew and Natalie Cutler-Welsh, suggest the following for ‘Last minute prezzies that are good for the globe;’

For kids, what about swim lessons (concessions), an annual membership to Willowbank (a wild-life reserve) or a home-made voucher for ‘a special 1 on 1 outing of your choice’. Encourage your kids to 're-gift' some of their items to younger siblings or cuzzies.

I do not know much about children, but I do know that vouchers or promises of future outings will fail to impress on a spectacular, chin-quivering, watery-eyed level. For adults, they suggest a worm-farm, donations to Oxfam, or East Timorese coffee, all of which would also induce some chin-quivering of my own, and possibly screaming and threats of divorce over the worm-farm. It is daft ideas like this that puts me off the Green movement, and no doubt many others too.

Thus, for those who might wish to reduce their big carbon-bootprint to that of a diminutive stiletto, I thought I would suggest a few last-minute present ideas of my own.

Vintage 1940s/1950s Rolex watch:

I would love one of these (and have broadly hinted at such). One with a leather strap – it looks like something Katherine Hepburn would have worn.

Of course, not only would it be fabulously chic, it is essentially 'second-hand' so surely this would qualify as a 'green' gift (?). I have seen some available at Lord Ponsonby's antique shop on Ponsonby Road.

A sterling-silver Tiffany hip-flask

Typically a present for men, but I wouldn't say no to one of these myself. "What a smashing gift – but what of the environment?" I hear you cry. Well, the Tiffany and Co. Foundation of Environmental Conservation supports organizations dedicated to conservation of natural resources, responsible mining, etc. And much nicer than a bag of coffee.

Hand-made Hetty-Rose shoes

Lovely shoes, n'est-ce pas? And all made from recycled stuff, including vintage kimono fabric. Only problem – they do take several weeks to make, so unless you have a time-machine handy, probably not a good last minute idea.

YSL cocktail rings

Madly love cocktail rings at the moment, and these YSL ones are cheap as pommes frites. Don't know how 'green' they are, but they look organic.

However, if you want to support a local designer (buy local - and you reduce carbon point things), try the lovely designs at Kagi, available at a bunch of places.
Kagi uses real gemstones and crystals in the jewellery. It is believed that when worn against your skin, these gems and minerals will bring energy and balance to body and mind.

I have one of their peridot pieces, which promises, "This stone prevents you from being envious of others and allows you to focus on positive aspects of life. It teaches you that holding on to people, or the past is counterproductive." Not sure its working in any of those regards, but it certainly is gorgeous.

Designer cat bowl

New Zealand fashion designers Trelise Cooper, Cybele and Liz Mitchell have each designed a lovely bowl for the fashionable feline. Not only are they rather swish, the proceeds from these limited-edition bowls support local cat charities.

They are 'available for purchase from Animates and Jansens stores throughout the country.' I have bought two.

In any regard, no matter what Santa brings you, may you all have a wonderful Christmas. I shall be going away shortly after Christmas for a wee break, and shall return early January. That is, unless I get a worm-farm, in which case I will be blogging from prison after knocking Mr Smith over the head with a blunt object.

Keep safe and well.


Mrs Smith

P.S. Bloody hell! The photos are all mashing together. Hope I have fixed it, it looks fine on my screen now.


Lita said...

Fab to see you back Mrs Smith, I missed you!

Loving the cat bowls, and so stealing the "cheap as pommes frites" thang.

Have a fab time over the festives, fingers crossed on the hepburnesque rolex.

wonderferret said...

The watches are definitely lust worthy and the hipflask is very useful. The shoes however, meh! I'd rather have the antique kimonos as they make splendid wall hangings.
Love the cat bowls.

And a Merry Xmas to you to.


Mark said...

Merry Christmas, dear!

I hope you get everything you deserve, and more!


george said...

The ideal Green present is a hammer (2nd hand) to whack possums with. If you are really feeling expansive, perhaps a mattock with which to grub out gorse and thistles. Give them a map with DoC territory marked on it. That should keep them gratefully occupied till the next Christmas [or whatever they have re-named it]

Anonymous said...

"Vintage 1940s/1950s Rolex watch"

Nope, at a 10th the price of a new rolex all it says are, you're cheap or stupid.

Mrs Smith said...

In so many many ways, that comment says volumes of unfortuante things about you, Anonymous.