Monday, November 30, 2009

Multi-Purpose Packaging

When considering how to wrap your holiday gifts this year, consider multi-purposed packaging. Instead of wrapping paper and bows, opt for cloth bags and ribbon that can be reused.  One of my favorites is festive holiday shopping bags available at my local grocery store for just 99 cents!  With a cute holiay picture and slogan, they are perfect for wrapping presents, and can also be used by the recipient for every day shopping trips. 

We browsed for a bit and found some other great reusable gift bags for this holiday season.  Check out our favorite selections.  Click the "shop" link under each picture to go to the Etsy seller's site.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

WGIC recently saw a great news segment on 190 North about, a site described in their own words below:

PixieListTM is a free service that makes it easy to give away usable items from the home or office that you no longer need. Save money and the planet by reusing free items offered by others in your community. Everything listed here is 100% free with no strings attached. That's the rule. Free to give. Free to get. All free!
Looking for something that you don't already see on PixieList? Use our wish list feature to let other people know you can really use that certain something.
We charities and wish list items from registered charities are clearly marked. If you donate items to a registered charity, you may even get a tax deduction!
So use PixieList and really clean up!

While is relatively new to the scene, the thought behind it is good. We love the idea of FREE, (I mean, who doesn't!?), but we also love that products are getting reused instead of thrown away! So shop away~

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Black Friday!

Happy Black Friday!  Today the Christmas season officially kicks off.  And in honor of that, we thought we'd suggest a great website we love to use this time of year.

Growing up, it was always a hassle to get everyone together BEFORE the holidays so we could draw names for Secret Santa gifts. Inevitably, my granny ended up drawing names for everyone and calling our long-distance relatives.  Then, she proceeded to tease us all for the next 3 weeks that she knew who everyone's Secret Santa was . . .  sound familiar? 

Well, thanks to some amazing people, there's a great service available called Elfster. is a super easy way to organize a Secret Santa, whether it's for family, friends, the office, or whoever!  Secret Santa participants sign up individually through a group, and then Elfster does the dirty work, matching up participants. You can create wish-lists, tell your Secret Santa about yourself, and even ask your person anonymous questions to determine what they'd like. 

Our favorite thing about Elfster: it makes it even easier to be green.  No wasting tiny slips of paper drawing names; no buying and shipping lots of gifts all over the country; no returning unwanted presents.  Be sure to check out Elfster this season for your Secret Santa gift exchanges!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Countdown

Boy does time fly! Our last post about Holiday Countdowns had Thanksgiving 75 days away!! Not the case anymore - as you all know Thanksgiving is now only two short days away. While most of your menu items, decorations and preparations are no doubt complete, check below for some last minute ideas you just might want to include in your holiday celebration!

1. Keep the Kids from Getting Cranky
Do you have a large amount of young children attending your Thanksgiving festivities? If so, check out what Amazing Mom's has come up with to keep your kids busy! Our favorite is the Turkey Treat Holder - makes a great centerpiece!

2. Try a New App
A new appetizer that is! Change things up a little this Thanksgiving with a new menu item - try this super simple recipe from the Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis for Stuffed Mushroom's.  Suggested prep time is 25 minutes, we think it would take closer to 10-15! And they look just delish! Or, instead of the classic, and dare we say BORING, dinner rolls, try Paula Deen's Parmesan Puff Pastery Recipe. Prep time is 12 minutes, how easy. And YUMMMMMY!!

3. Kick the Cran
Cranberry sauce from an aluminum can is quite cliché (and lazy) in our minds here at WGIC. With so many simple recipes for delicious, fresh, quick and easy homemade cranberry sauce, there's no reason to waste your money and your reputation on store bought! Try our very own, family recipe:


4. Where's the Host Gift?
Forget to get your host something? Don't have an extra bottle of wine lying around, or do you think wine isn't thoughtful enough?  Well we've got a great idea for a host/hostess gift, and the best part, it's under $20!!!   Try a plant and Go Green, literally!!  You can even stop ON YOUR WAY TO DINNER to pick it up - try Walmart, Target or even Home Depot. You'll want to make sure you get an indoor plant. Flowers are nice, but not necessary. Get creative, pick an exotic looking leaf, or a plant that you have in your own home.  Your host/hostess will be impressed that you thought outside the box and you might even brighten up there day!!

And here is the rest of our Holiday Countdown:

18 Days until the start of Chanukah

32 Days until Christmas

33 Days until the start of Kwanzaa

38 Days until New Year's Eve

Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey Day Decor

The Big Meal, as we like to call it, is fast approaching.  With just a couple days left to bake and cook and prepare, we wanted to share a few ideas for making your table even more impressive.  We've mentioned Paper Source before. It's one of our favorite stores for beautiful paper goods.  And Paper Source offers a wide variety of eco-friendly products.  With two stores in Chicago, Paper Source is close by for a last-minute trip.  Here's a few of our favorite picks for the season:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mmmm . . . Cake

Yesterday was one of our lead planner's birthdays, and we still have cake on the brain.  Around here, we wanted to have our cake and eat it too, but also feel good about it the next day.  So we went in search of eco-friendly bakeries in the Chicago area.  Man, did we find some tasty-looking treats that may not be good for your figure, but they are certainly good for the planet!

All of these bakeries can be found on a great green directory called Ecovian. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

We Bleed Orange and Blue

Although we're a long ways from Florida, our two lead planners, Katie and Alison, are both huge Gator fans.  And it tickles us pink when we can find a way to incorporate our two favorite colors subtly into any event.  Now even if you're not a Gator fan, we think you'll find these Thanksgiving tablescapes quite beautiful.

Have you found inspiration for your Thanksgiving table yet?  We'd love to hear what you have in store for your guests.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You, Veterans!

Thank you to all the moms, dads, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters who have served (and continue to serve) in our armed forces.  Because of what you did/do, we can continue to do what we do.  Thank you.

And to two of my favorite veterans, who are getting ready to return for a second tour of duty: Come home soon. Come home safe. We'll miss you dearly.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Chicago: Green Hotels

Do you have guests coming in town soon for an upcoming event and need a place for them to stay? You probably can't accommodate your entire list of out-of-town relatives at your place, so most likely you're going to need to put them up somewhere! Well there's a great way to go green in the process.

Check out this list of the 14 Green Hotels in Chicago (as determined by Green Seal).

Did you know?
Chicago leads the nation with the greatest number of hotels with Green Seal certification.

Makes us love our city even more...if that were even possible!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Holiday Greetings with a Conscience

Here at We've Got It! Chicago, we respect the Turkey. We try not to get too ahead of ourselves this time of year, but we just can't help it this time. We found these amazing earth-friendly holiday cards, and we know this is the time of year when you're looking for just this sort of thing. So this year, check out some of these great eco-friendly cards so you can send holiday greetings with a conscience.

Why choose cards from Tree-Free Greetings? "Tree-Free is the most sustainable card and gift line on the market . . . . Tree-Free continues to develop new sustainable products, incorporating ancient fibers with modern production technology to produce Holiday Decor, Journals, Memo Pads, Stationary, Party Ware, Greeting Cards, Matching Envelopes, Note Card Sets, Gift Bags and More!" Here's our favorite holiday picks from Tree-Free:

Or maybe you're looking for a custom, photo holiday card. If so, check out Tiny Prints, whose products and packaging are now all 100% eco-friendly. Here's some of our faves, but check out their website, there's dozens and dozens more styles available.

Have you found the perfect eco-friendly holiday cards? Show us what you've found and you could be featured as a Socially Responsible Butterfly on our blog!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Open Streets - Brighter Planet

As you know members of the WGIC staff recently participated in the Boulevard Lakefront Tour - well since then we've stayed up to date on the Active Transportation Alliance's efforts to improve the roads and sidewalks for bikers and walkers/runners in Chicago; and their latest event has us smiling from ear to ear! Check it out below:

Open Streets - Brighter Planet
ATA has submitted Open Streets to the Brighter Planet's Project Fund - And your votes can help!

Open Streets closes roads off from vehicle use for a part of a day, meaning opening up the space for recreation, walking, bicycling and fostering an inviting place for leisure. Taking vehicles off the road has many positive effects not only for the recreational potential, but for health and environmental purposes as well. When communities are allowed to take back their streets, and realize that the roads are meant for sharing, more people become comfortable with the idea of alternative forms of transportation and recreation.

Open Streets seeks to create great consequences for the fight against pollution and global warming. The need for more green space is real, and Open Streets seeks to address this need by turning our city’s major roads into large, continuous open parks. If given the space for recreation, a healthier, more active community will live in an environment with less pollution and danger from vehicle congestion.

Active Transportation Alliance is proud to be participating with Brighter Planet and is committed to making our communities better by creating a more sustainable, healthy and less polluted environment. Open Streets is about many things: it’s about bringing the community closer together, improving the environment, it’s about residents having a safe place to be active, about having time to play, and it’s about changing peoples attitudes about communities they have never visited.

Click here to Vote to lower our emissions and stay active!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Earth-Friendly Spirits

Now St. Patrick's Day isn't the only time of year when you can serve green beer and wine. Thanks to organic and sustainable brewers and vintners popping up across the country, it's now easier than ever to serve eco-friendly drinks at your next event.

Calypso Organic Selections offer beer, wine and spirits. As an added bonus, they donate 1% of the proceeds from their Sunset Rum line to development efforts around the world. Check out their website for more on their products and the areas they donate to. Currently available in Washington D.C. and Virginia.

Fish Brewing Company, out of Colorado, offers organic ales, ciders and beers. While they are located in Colorado, their products are available in several states and for home delivery if they aren't in your area.

Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery is Chicago's first winery and meadery offering the most sustainable wines on earth. Check out their site for more product information and events around Chicago.

Finally, Mother Earth Brewing Company offers a variety of organic brews and sustainable practices. While they are only available in North Carolina, we think it's worth checking out if you're ever in the area.

Have you recently discovered a new organic beverage that you love? Tell us about. We love to hear what you're into.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What is a Social(ly Responsible) Butterfly?

Quite simply: it's a cross between a social butterfly and one who is socially responsible. Put them together and you've got one great host(ess) who throws one heck of a party, all while doing his/her part to save the planet.

Now don't let us scare you off. We're not preaching blandness and minimalism. We don't expect you to treat your guests to wheat grass smoothies and dismally gray recycled paper napkins. It is possible to be lavish and elegant AND be eco-friendly. Hence, the Socially Responsible Butterfly. Just look for the butterfly logo throughout our blog and website to indicate an opportunity to make your event green and grand!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Favorite Favors

Whether you're planning autumn nuptuals, a fall harvest party or just Thanksgiving dinner, it's nice to treat your guests to a small treat to thank them for coming. We've found some great fall favors that are easy and affordable and green!

Burlap Bulb Bundles

This easy how-to from Lowe's Creative Ideas is a simple way to say thanks.  This is one of our favorites.  Burlap is a fairly eco-friendly fabric, and is available in a variety of colors, so you can coordinate with your party motif.  By using recycled paper and local bulbs, this is the perfect green favor for your guests.

Mom's Apple Pie

Have you been hogging the family recipe for apple pie?  What better way to share the spirit of the season, then by sharing Mom's famous recipe.  Again, this idea uses burlap for packaging.  Take a family outing to pick apples then stuff the bags with your pickings.  Add in your favorite apple pie recipe (on recycled paper, of course).  Guests wil be thrilled that you're sharing a family recipe and giving them fresh apples to start their cooking endeavor off right.

Home-Made Preserves

Not everyone has extra time to cook favors when preparing for Thanksgiving, but if you do, why not share your preserves with your guests?  Recycled jars and beautiful custom labels make this a beautiful treat.  Or, if you're just too busy, find a local shop that sells local preserves.  This is a great idea for weddings with lots of out-of-town guests.  Find a regional treat to share with loved ones.  In Maine? Go for maple syrup.  In Georiga? Share some peaches.  Find what's unique about your area and share the love.