WWF Canada Adoption Kits – Do some good and warm a heart.

ecochick almost dropped the ball on this one. Blame the non-sleeping ecobaby. She’s lucky she’s so cute.
You know the World Wildlife Fund. They are the dedicated conservation organization whose noble goals are To stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:

* conserving the world’s biological diversity,
* ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable,
* promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

During these days of Copenhagen and climate change discussion, the role of the WWF in raising awareness and promoting great ecological programs are more important than ever. One of the many ways in which the WWF promotes their programs is to sell items in their store that bring their customers closer to nature themselves – such as their awesome (and adorable) Adoption Kits. I just love these. From their press release:

The WWF-Canada Adoption Program offers the chance to symbolically adopt a threatened species and support critical work to protect nature at the same time. More Canadian animals are available for adoption than ever before, including the caribou, polar bear, grizzly bear, Arctic fox, monarch butterfly, Atlantic cod (I had to laugh at this – adopt a cuddly Cod for Christmas!), northern leopard frog, common loon, meerkat, blue shark and the black-footed ferret. Alternatively, you can select from popular international species such as the emperor penguin, Asian elephant, giant panda, orangutan, tiger and snow leopard.

Each adoption package costs $40 and contains a 12.5 cm stuffed animal of your choice, a personalized adoption certificate, a letter identifying you as the gift giver, a brochure about the species you are protecting and the work you will be supporting, as well as a $30 tax receipt – all wrapped up in a great reusable WWFCanada tote bag. Gift givers looking to make a greater contribution to wildlife can also adopt a family of polar bears, orangutans, Arctic fox or pandas.

What an awesome initiative, and what a great gift idea for the animal- or planet-lover in your life. But here is the caveat. If you want to give a kit for Christmas you need to order it by midnight December 17. Missed the holiday delivery deadlines? NEW this year: Email an adoption certificate right away to tell your loved ones their adoption kit is on its way. The link is here, and orders from the WWF store that include adoptions qualify for free shipping – just enter Special Offer Code: shopwwf during checkout. (This offer ended December 17th, 2009 at 11:59pm EST). So if you think there’s someone in your life who’ll love one of these under the tree – go check it out right now. They also have plenty of other great gifts for the ecologically-minded giver, so make sure you browse around.

And. AND. The lovely Sara at WWF Canada has given me three WWF Adoption Kits to give away to you, my amazing, wonderful readers. We have a Polar Bear, Penguin and a Caribou kit ready to go. Here’s all you need to do to enter the giveaway: Go to the WWF Store and tell me which animal you’re ready to adopt. It doesn’t have to be one of the ones we’re giving away, pick your favourite (I’m partial to the Leopard Frog myself!) Put your animal in the comments by 5 pm Monday, December 21 (This means the animals will not reach you by Christmas, but will be a great way to start the New Year!) Please ensure you leave a way for me to contact you in your comment.

Until then, happy ecoshopping!

Whole Green Catalog: 1000 Best Things For You And The Earth

Never judge a book by its cover, people.

In the stack of books sent to review from Rodale Publishing was one thick, telephone-book-like book, with a plain, simple cover. Immediately I thought, ugh. Some tradeshow-like publication where it lists green vendor after green vendor in miniscule text and borring.

Mea maxima culpa, people. I was so wrong.

The Whole Green Catalog is a gem among green guides. Within its sustainably managed pages are sections on greening your everyday life in areas like housekeeping, energy, clothing, gardening, electronics, travel, on and on and on. Not just a list of green products or vendors, each section is laid out rather like a magazine, with informative columns, articles, green tips, sources and lots of other great info. There’s ideas on how to green your everyday life, segments comparing green products to one another and the pros and cons of each, and tips on where to find out more green info. There’s also features explaining lots of green fundamentals, such as explaining the confusing “numbers in triangles” system of labelling recycled plastics, a glossary of chemical terms such as “biodegradable” and “phosphate free” and more.

The downside for Canadian ecochicks is that the guide is primarily targeted towards US consumers, and therefore it’s a toss-up as to whether many of the products or initiatives mentioned are available or accessible to the Canadian consumer. However, there is still enough information within the book to make it a great reference text and give you some new and innovative ideas as well.

One criticism of the book is that it doesn’t seem to explain how the products within its pages were selected – did they compare lots of products and only list the ones that came out on top by some criteria, or did they simply select things that they liked? I wanted to see more about their selection criteria and how things ended up in the book. But aside from that, the book is a great resource and would be an excellent gift for the green neophyte or eco-junkie alike.

There’s also an awesome website for more information. The Whole Green Catalog is available at Chapters and other book retailers.