The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

A hippie’s dilemma: eco-friendly presents October 28, 2009


So you might have noticed lately that I’ve been trying to pare down my life a bit. I’m avoiding buying anything that isn’t necessary, which has served me well. (Exhibit 1: losing my umbrella but borrowing one from the roomie until I could snag one off the mom. Win!)

But now my birthday is creeping closer, and then a month later, Christmas. The whole point of presents seems to be either to ask for something you can’t afford yourself, to ask for something super boring you need, or to ask for something that you would never buy for yourself.

We all know the latter is always the most fun option. I remember reading a piece in Vogue a while back where the author said that you should always pick out something for a friend that is beautiful and a little impractical. “Skip the ever-useful black gloves and go for the baby blue!” she said. It’s an adorable thought, but goes against everything I’m trying to achieve. And with my luck, I’m sure I would get something expensive that I will never, ever use, but can’t get rid of because it would be insulting.

As for the second, boring option…it goes against my personality. And the first option, well, none of my friends make more money than I do, and I feel bad – after my sister’s big wedding this summer AND my graduation present – making my parents shell out for something extravagant.

Ok, so, what do I ask for? Let’s brainstorm stuff that doesn’t require a lot of resources but is fun:

  • Movie, concert, symphony, or show tickets
  • Entrance to an exclusive gallery opening or party
  • A spa treatment
  • four-wine
  • A delicious bottle of organic vodka, gin, or wine
  • il_fullxfull.93697757
  • Anything from Etsy earth
  • A homemade batch of organic cupcakes
  • ithacafinechocolates_2075_23155759
  • Fair trade organic chocolates
  • Dinner at a restaurant that serves  organic or local food
  • A wine tasting
  • A donation to a good cause
  • Or something that plays off a friend’s skill! (Elisabeth, I’m looking at you! <-awesome scrapbooker)


Raise your hand if you have, like, a bajillion t-shirts. I know you do. They take up a full third of all my drawer space. But I just can’t stand to get rid of any of them! They remind me of concerts and music festivals, parties, clubs and causes, field hockey, 10k runs, and Greek life. I must have at least 30 of them. So even if I didn’t do laundry for a month, and worked out every single day, I still wouldn’t run out.

Solution! I asked Mum to make a blanket out of them. I’ve been wanting a yummy blanket, and now I will have one that means a lot to me, one that reminds me of all my most funnest times in college and even high school. She’s already started crafting her plan of attack. (“I’ll get your sister to help me design it, and borrow Sharon’s surger…”) Win! (If you want to get a place to make one for you, check this company out.)

Now, what do I ask for from my boyfriend? Ah, I always pity the boyfriend who has to pick out a present for a girl. Senior year of high school, Scott actually yanked a handful of roses out of a plastic grocery bag and handed it to me. ::Sigh:: He’s a bit more mature now, but I have super-picky taste in jewelry and clothing, and he knows that. Hmmm, think Alden!

(Wow, I’ve been thinking for ten minutes here!)

Got it! Ok, so while I was home for a couple days, we knocked around the idea of  going to a rock climbing place in Maryland called Earth Treks. So this is what I want: an intro lesson to rock climbing, so we can spend the day together belaying each other up the indoor facility’s walls. (Yup, a girl can belay a heavier guy too!) After a hard day of burning calories (900 per hour, apparently) I want a dinner at a good, organic restaurant. That’s a low-impact, high-fun way to spend the day. Perfect.


2 Responses to “A hippie’s dilemma: eco-friendly presents”

  1. […] I’ve gotten two presents so far. Yesterday my boyfriend gave me a climbing session at Earth Treks, per my request. (I wrote about my birthday and Christmas requests in this earlier post.) […]

  2. Junk Removal Says:

    Nice work on the blog. I definitely know how hard it can be to start to gain a following! 🙂 The issues we are facing just seem to get worse and worse and seems like people care less and less. Anyway to 2010 being a greener year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s