Give them Greentertainment this Christmas
Yesterday 20th Century Fox released the “Futurama: Bender’s Big Score” DVD, touted as the first “carbon-neutral” DVD ever. The studio apparently did all that it could to reduce waste during the DVD production process, and bought carbon offsets to balance out the remaining “unavoidable” energy use. The feature-length film also includes a cameo appearance (does it count as an appearance if it’s really only his voice?) from Al Gore, preaching the word of Green.
I’m not a huge fan of Futurama, but I have been known to chuckle at the show and I highly recommend buying this DVD for yourself or a loved one this holiday season. But if you and your loved ones aren’t into futurama, here are some practical and ways to give and receive greenly this year.
The wonders of the digital age have made it easy for we book, movie and music lovers to stay happy without being wasteful. For example, iTunes allows us to buy music without buying the plastic, petroleum and greenhouse gases that have traditionally come packaged with it. Get your kids an iTunes gift certificate instead of that CD on their Christmas list, and you won’t have to deal with that annoying saran wrap that is nearly impossible to remove.
And if it’s videos they want, rather than buying them DVDs, how about signing them up for a Netflix subscription? Netflix is an efficient way to share videos with millions of other people, like a library that you can visit without having to get off your couch. Since everyone’s using the same movie collection, waste is minimized (it’s klind of like public transportation for movie lovers). And if you’ve got a PC, you can even get the videos online and you don’t have to worry about the emissions from the mail truck that brought the DVD to your house. If you’ve got a Mac, you may not be able to watch online, but at least you have that cute TV commercial guy representing you.
Got a booklover in the family? Well there’s no need to kill trees to please them this year, because Amazon has just released a super cool new gadget called the Kindle, which is kind of like an iPod for reading. It allows you to download books, newspapers and other publications and take them on the road (so you don’t need to be hooked up to the internet to use it). Unfortunately, the Kindle is sold-out already, plus it costs about $400. But still, it’s a totally paperless way to read, and I have a hunch that these things are going to become really popular, and they’re sure to become cheaper and more readily available over the coming year.
So basically, going high-tech this Christmas is a pretty rad and convenient way to give greenly. And there are lots of other ways to give and receive environmentally-responsible gifts this year, so I’m planning to write more about it over the next few weeks. For now, I hope that this has inspired you to put on your eco-caps this shopping season.