See entire December 24, 2010 newsletter

Did I really write that? Is this REALLY Mrs. Green’s last newsletter for 2010? Don’t think I need to even ask any of you where the year went because you are all shaking your heads as well.

 Top Ten Green Tips from You!
What better way to honor the people who took the time to enter our “I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas” contest than to feature the top ten winners’ submissions, unedited by Mrs. Green and voted on by YOU!

First Place – “I’ll be serving vegetables grown in our own garden.” – Michelle Bonati (Champaign, IL)

Second Place – “Instead of using a live Christmas tree, this year I plan on using an Agave Flower stalk as a tree instead. I have made a swap with my neighbor – I did some yard work for her in exchange for her agave stalk. I plan on decorating it in a southwest theme with bird’s nests and native paper mache birds. If I store it correctly I plan on reusing it year after year.” – Cherry Rosenberg (Tucson, AZ)

Third Place – “I love putting together my own gift baskets of local foods to surprise my Southern relatives. This year I went to Desert Harvesters’ Annual Mesquite Milling Fiesta. I didn’t have any mesquite pods to mill, but I did find the ingredients for my gift basket this year: a bag of Skeleton Creek’s mesquite flour that’s sustainably wild-harvested in the Sonoran Desert; a bottle of prickly pear syrup that’s made by Iskashitaa (a nonprofit organization that helps refugees and gleans fruit from local trees); and a jar of organic blueberry jam made by We B’ Jamin Farm in Tucson. I’m including a recipe from Desert Harvesters for mesquite pancakes. I always save wrapping supplies to reuse, so I’m sending this collection in a used gift bag with a gift card made from a used holiday card.” – Pamela Portwood (Tucson, AZ)

4th – “Instead of buying new wrapping paper, cards, decorations, etc get together with friends or coworkers and trade items leftover from last year. Then do it again after Christmas and include any gifts that you don’t like or can’t use. That way nothing ends up in a landfill!” – Amy Bivins (Tucson, AZ)

5th –  “I am making reusable snack bags and sandwich wraps to give as gifts this holiday. Using super cute fabrics by Amy Butler, it is a fun way to keep plastic out of our oceans. For cards and envelopes, I use recycled magazines, especially beautiful Aveda ads.” – Anne Skubis (Tucson, AZ)

6th – “We decorate a large artificial tree every year and then always purchase a small live tree and plant it in the yard in the spring. We also decorate the recycle bin with red and green wrapping paper to encourage guests to use it. It stands out!” – Jennifer Flora (Tucson, AZ)

7th – “I save the Sunday comics all year and use it for Christmas wrapping paper. (Commercial gift wrap can’t go into Tucson’s recycling bins.)” – Mindy Jones (Tucson, AZ)

8th – “This holiday season, my husband and I are cooking with all fruits and vegetables produced by a local farmer. By doing this, we hope to lower the fuel needed to transport our food, reduce the pesticides needed to create our food and introduce our family and friends to the healthiest way of eating: organic and local.”   – Doreen Donnelly (Collegeville, PA)

9th – “I take my Christmas cards each year and make next year name tags for our gifts. Punch a hole in them and take a silk string to attach them to the Christmas gift.” – Pam Taylor (Tucson, AZ)

10th – “Change all light strings and decorations to LCD bulbs. They use much less power then the old kind. They also have a life of about 50,000 hours. Try to find old style bulbs that can do this. We did the same thing for Halloween.” – Russell W. Degner (Manahawkin, NJ)
Our thanks and gratitude to ALL who submitted and voted!

Welcome to Our Newest Sponsors!
Miraval Resort – From the minute I entered the grounds of Miraval this past summer, I felt all the stress and hustle and bustle of the outside world slipping away. It was unlike any place I had ever been – truly. It was life in balance, it was idyllic, it was a getaway and from beginning to end it was healthy and sustainable. So do you think there was cause for celebration when we received the call several weeks ago that Miraval was interested in partnering with Mrs. Green to spread the word about all the magic that is Miraval? When I read the following on Miraval’s website, I was eager to share with everyone in Mrs. Green’s world the essence of what one can experience during your stay there:  “Miraval can be your catalyst for a healthy lifestyle change, your escape and support through challenging times, or simply somewhere to rest, reflect and re-energize as you begin the next chapter in your life story.”

I cannot wait to spread the word about all that’s great about Miraval, about their amazing day spa and to make more memories there in the not-too-distant future. One last thought. I have always believed it is the little things in life that make a difference.

There were two little things at Miraval that delighted me. One was the chocolate chip cookies they put out at about 2:00 and the other is the button on the phone in the room that reads: “Anything I need.” Does it get any better than that?

The Arizona Green Plumbers – We are thrilled, delighted and excited that The Arizona Green Plumbers has moved to the sponsor level. We could not dream of a better, more involved and more supportive sponsor than John Smith and his entire staff. I don’t want to get too carried away but they honestly feel like family. John leads the way and sets the corporate culture of giving back to the community to a fare thee well. Not only was John the first certified green plumber in Arizona, he was the winner of Mrs. Green’s Who is the Greenest of Them All and has received several national awards and write ups in national publications. John is on the board of the Ronald McDonald House and has done NUMEROUS acts of goodwill for them and the HabiStore. He will be doing same for The Humane Society of Southern Arizona and Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona in the year to come. Needless to say, I hope you will think about the Arizona Green Plumbers for all your plumbing needs.

Note: please consider following Miraval & The Arizona Green Plumbers on Facebook. It’s all part of being the change we wish to see in the world and spreading the good green word!