This year, I would like to give “green.” What are some green gift choices?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,471
    Etiquette expert Nancy Mitchell discusses the many alternatives for green giving.

    Nancy Mitchell

    Nancy R. Mitchell is an established protocol and etiquette consultant and advisor with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses to Event Management Certificate Program students in the School of Business and Public Management, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was Director of Special Events and Public Programs at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, fundraising galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, she served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, foreign embassies, academia and corporations. Mitchell owns The Etiquette Advocate, Inc., a firm providing etiquette and protocol training to corporations, universities, embassies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals. She is the etiquette consultant to Engaged! magazine, has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox 5 News, WTOP Radio and National Public Radio, and is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by the New York Times, Washington Business Journal, and the Washington Post. She is a co-owner of the firm, Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol, Inc., and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association and the Women Business Owners of Montgomery Country (MD).

    Host: What are some options if I want to give green this year?

    Nancy Mitchell: This is a year where we are bombarded with articles and information and television interviews, people care about the environment, they care about their community, they care about their planet. If this is near and dear to you, give in that way and there are very, very, many, many alternatives for green giving. Think about giving a lasting gift. Someone is a gardener; they own their own home, give a plant that they can put out into their garden later on. Give herbs for their Herb Garden; give things that help the community, give a gift in someone s name or families name to a local charity, to a shelter. Give a gift that will help internationally, there are organizations where you can give something that is an animal that goes out to support a community. You can give gift boxes, you can, within your own family, think about how you can conserve resources. Instead of buying ten rolls of wrapping paper, maybe you buy a little bit of butter paper, you buy or you collect let us say the paper that you get from a linen store or the paper you get from a china and glassware store, having your children decorate those papers. Use stamps that you have created out of potatoes, rubbers, sponges or something you make wonderful paper yourself. Wrap your gifts in that manner, choose gifts that do not need wrapping paper. You might do home baked goodies and tuck them into reusable canisters or small bags that can be reused. Use your imagination and try to have the least impact, you can on the environment. If that is near and dear for you, for heaven s sake go for it. What you do want to avoid is don t make a political statement. When you are doing it, some people may not share your views, do not say Because I read this or Because this is what my political party believes or Because this is what is important to the democratic or the Republican Party, I have decided this year and you ran your ideas down someone s throat, please avoid that. Do what feels sincere for you is important to you.

    You can also decorate in your home in green ways. There are many, many, many ideas that you can come up with, where you have less of an impact on the society; there is less trash to throw out after the holidays. You can also again as we mentioned earlier give gift cards. Some companies are padding themselves on the back saying that their cards are even printed on echo friendly materials biodegradable instead of plastic, you are giving some kind of recycled paper. Do what you can to personalize a gift perhaps you are going this year to make craps. Use your imagination you can give green. Just make sure that it is not a political statement that you are trying to make.