Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Shopping Helper?

I'm a lousy holiday shopper, as my partner Aimee will readily attest, one who will do anything to avoid the malls, and whose idea of haute couture is Carhartt's bib overalls, so when I was asked to review The Sunrise Guide, a Maine environmental not-for-profit coupon book, I was so gob-smacked I had to say yes, or reveal myself as a total grinch.

The book duly came in the mail. It's published by Heather Chandler Publishers, and I got nice notes from Molly Gallagher, public relations consultant for the Guide, and Heather Chandler, the president and founder of the company.

Even I had to grinchily admit it is an excellent value. It's available from various outlets, including many schools, faith organizations and non-profits, and features columns from Maine organic characters such as Russell Libbey of MOFGA right here in Unity, or Lisa Fernandez of the Portland, ME permaculture group, as well as energy saving advice from the DEP and others.

Such a deal!

Quite a bit of the book is actually an anti-consumer or at least a how-not-to-consume-as-much message. It's sponsored by Maine DEP and the State Planning Office and supports countless small charities in the state.

So why not? We're all going to spend some money this holiday season, and apart from supporting essential work in the great State o' Maine, this is also a good deal. Most folks I know have paid far more for their collection of "fifty things to do to save the planet" books.

This save-the-planet book comes with cash back! A good stocking stuffer for the shopper in your life.

Coupons abound, in the back of the book after the the fifty or so pages of self-help enviro hints, and I can't imagine anyone, except perhaps me, who couldn't get their money back in special deals. Last year's book sales raised $30,000 for good causes.

If your child doesn't bring one back from school, Boy or Girl Scouts or Sunday School, and if you don't find one at your organic grocery, you can buy one online at

What will I do with mine? Especially since I haven't actually been shopping anywhere other than my regular four suppliers, the Brooks hardware store, Home Despot, Uncle Henry's, or Reny's, in years?

Give it to herself, of course. She never reads my blog anyway, so Mr. Grinch here can tell her it was a holiday gift!

How about that for right livelihood?

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