Gifting a loved one with something they would cherish is a thing we all love to do. Although the market is flooded with choicest of gifts, any giver would want his gift to be the most unique. In today’s times, where the most exorbitant of gifts seem befitting, it will be a wise and conscious decision to invest one’s time and money in more meaningful and environmentally safer options.

Depending upon your proximity, a bouquet large or small is a very ‘green’ and touching gift. Despite the bouquet having a short shelf life, flowers do usher in cheer, whether they are gifted for anniversaries or to convalescing patients.


Another idea will be to tend to rare herbs or flowering shrubs in your garden and gift a few to someone close, along with instructions how they need to be looked after. Seeds of flowers, herbs are also simple options. An aunt who has a green thumb maintains a beautiful garden, presented me with the best gift I have received in this lifetime- a few hanging pots, moss, packets of seeds, potted rose shrubs, a few potted herbs, garden tools and organic manure, not to mention a gardening book for beginners. And today, I’m a proud owner of a pretty garden!

During Christmas, a lovely Christmas tree along with decorations will be welcome in any household.

A woman once discouraged a beggar without giving him money, but a few flower saplings, and taught him to plant those, sell the produce and earn money. Instead of giving him fish, she taught him to fish!

A letter pad made of recycled paper, along with recycled paper envelopes, make ideal gifts to teenage girls. Greeting cards made of recycled paper may be a bit costlier, but is environmentally better too.  Books made of recycled paper are wonderful options too.

Children using pencils can be given pencils that are made out of recycling wood. Color pencils, and lead pencils will excite small children and they will naturally make a decision to buy only those brands.

When gifting clothes, again pure cotton or woolen or handloom garments, or textile painted in fabric colors will be unique.

Older relatives will love handmade jams, jellies and squashes made from fruits hand picked from your garden. Ripe, juicy fresh, fruits will always be appreciated.


When you visit Asian and African countries, you will be mesmerized by the bewitching natural items on display. Indian shawls, lacquered bangles, embroidered pouches, table mats, decorative wall hangings, stained glass paintings or table lamps made of stained glass, handloom stoles with designs made from block prints having distinct motifs, metal handicrafts like lamps, brass plates, metal or earthen statues etc make elegant gifts. All of the above come in sizes to suit any budget.


Curios made of stones make rare gifts too. The much famed marble masterpiece of the Taj Mahal is brought alive in miniature marble monuments and any visitor to India would love to own this miniature marvel to remind them of the romantic time they spent in India.  China porcelain, blue pottery of Rajasthan etc also make beautiful gifts to contain your delicate plants.


Cane furniture or curios made of cane will be cherished by one and all.  Another unique and tasteful gift, especially found in hilly regions, is flowers and foliage preserved and pressed in dainty patterns. You can collect foliage of different shapes and sizes-slender, long, rounded, heart shaped, along with wild flowers, press them to form a different pattern, frame and gift it. You may have to use preservatives, but organic preservatives may be used too.


Appropriate office stationery, that includes papers, diary, letter pads, envelopes, etc made from recycled paper, along with wooden pen holders, cane trash bins to toss in papers, files and even gift wrappers made form recycled papers etc are novel corporate gifts too.

Most shops wrap their goods in plastic carry bags. Better options would be to use eco friendly carry bags made from recycled paper.


One always wonders what to gift to a woman who starts life new.  An ideal gift would be to collect a few chosen relished recipes, pasted in a scarp book, and along with handy hints to remove stains from fabrics, and some home made beauty concoctions. Also include some handy tips to enliven the marriage bonds during trying times. The recipient is sure to use this gift more often, and add her own ideas and experiences to it.


Scented candles, in delicate perfumes, Aromatherapy natural oils of Rosemary, Sandal, Lavender, Chamomile, Juniper and Eucalyptus will be cherished and every time the user uses these, they will be reminded of you. Herbal soaps are non-allergic with their woody perfume. Sandalwood products, incense sticks, soaps, perfumes, sandal dust, pens made out of sandalwood, sandal oil, face packs, sachets which contain fragrances that can be placed inside the wardrobes etc. are sandal wood products liked by everyone. Gifting women with a complete array of the above articles make delightful gifts.

Empty jars may be placed in wardrobes for their lingering perfume. Even if the jars are tossed into the trash bin, some day when the familiar scent wafts by, the user would reminisce about the ‘times’ she used the product, the memories of which may just waft by!


Oriental rugs will be treasured by the owner and will make ideal gifts for weddings and house warming ceremonies.


Hand-knitted sweaters, booties and bonnets will be ideal for new born babies. Many grandmothers who are adept at knitting, embroidery and appliqué work have busied themselves as soon as they’ve learnt about the impending arrival. Not only your children, but also your grandchildren will treasure these as they cherish these.


An ultimate gift for a family member would be to collect rare photographs of vacations; anniversaries etc and make an album along with titles of the time and place. You can paste rare family photographs in a huge frame and this can be hung on the wall.

Hanging a family tree on the wall or given as a gift to a near and dear one will be unique! Sal wood twigs can be used to make frames which encase relatives-grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews and children along with their spouses. This wall in the house will never go unnoticed, as guests will throng to take a curious peep. That eccentric aunt and grumpy uncle of yours will be happy too, that their picture has found its way into your collection. There, you’ve made someone experience a sense of belongingness!


For the beauty conscious, face packs, herbal lipsticks, creams, exfoliating scrubs, seaweed for a spa experience, bath salts, manicure and pedicure creams that are made from purely herbal substances, etc can make thoughtful gifts.

Of all kinds of promising hair oil displayed in the market, I still prefer my mother’s home made hair oil, where she adds rose petals, Aloe Vera gel, hibiscus flowers, herbs etc in coconut or castor oil.


People living in tropical areas can select fresh spices from their garden, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, etc, to relatives or friends living far off. Those living in the Middle-east can opt for cashews, avocados, almonds, raisins and other dry fruits. After all nature never goes out of style.

How to replace Electrolux Belt

How to replace Electrolux Belt

I normally find that my friends are not able to use their vacuum cleaners whenever the belt in the vacuum cleaners has to be replaced. They actually wait for the technician to replace it before they use it for cleaning their homes. Sadly at times their wait is a very long one, as technicians have to attend to a large number of calls per day. At times these technicians are not very professional in attending to a particular call because of their careless nature. Are you one of those who simply hate doing any kind of mechanical work? Or are you one of those who have never done any kind of mechanical work at your home? Well the next time you need to replace the belt in your Electrolux (Upright) vacuum cleaner, don’t depend on anyone else or wait till the technician drops by at your place. You too can do this task provided you follow all the instructions given below properly:

You can start the process by unplugging the Electrolux (Upright) vacuum cleaner that is lying at your place. Remember you need to be careful while replacing the belt as any sort of carelessness on your side will cost you, if you break anything.

Place the vacuum cleaner in such a way so that you can easily access the bottom plate. Take out the screws and keep them aside. You can then turn over the vacuum cleaner and place it across flat.

You then need to keep a big screwdriver between the cover and the wheel. This needs to be followed for both the wheels. Use the big screwdriver to pry off the top in a careful manner. Do it in such a way so that it gets released from the bottom housing.

You then need to take out screws that are present at the end of the roller. These screws are used to keep the roller fixed on the vacuum cleaner. Once these screws have been removed, you can easily set the roller free. You can push away the belt pulley so that any kind of rubbish that has accumulated in the roller can be removed. The roller should be able to spin easily after the rubbish has been removed.

You can then take a look at the hose and remove any rubbish stuck in it. Then get a new vacuum belt installed – this can be done by first keeping it on the motor shaft. Then lay the vacuum belt above the roller and fix the roller once again. You will then have to put back the screws so that the roller is properly fixed.

Now that you have set everything properly, you can confirm if everything is alright with the vacuum cleaner by spinning it. You can then reassemble the vacuum cleaner.

There – wasn’t the whole process very simple – now that everything is so clear, don’t wait for anyone to replace the belt in your Electrolux vacuum cleaner the next time you want to get it changed. Not only will you save some valuable time and money, but you will also enjoy yourself while doing such a kind of work.

How to avoid Swine Flu

How to avoid Swine Flu

Swine Flu has managed to create a major havoc in all the major cities and countries of the world. No other illness has been able to scare so many people in recent times. In spite of this, hardly anyone seems to know anything that is needed to tackle it in an effective manner. A large number of children too have been infected by Swine Flu. If you are a parent yourself and worried about what you can do to protect your young ones from Swine Flu – you can gain a lot from the info given below. Even if you don’t have kids, the following tips will easily help you to avoid Swine Flu and also guide your family members and close friends in avoiding it.

Wash your hands – although we all like to wash our hands on a regular basis, we forget to do that at times because of our hectic and stressful schedules. But this is a must to avoid getting Swine Flu or any other similar illness. Don’t forget to apply soap and wash the area beyond your wrists while washing your hands – take some time while doing this. You should use paper towels so that you can use them to turn off the tap as well as use them for drying your hands. This is handy as you will not touch any place where there might be some germs – these are the same kind of germs that were also present on your hands before washing them.

Follow etiquette and cover your mouth and nose – whenever you sneeze, you are releasing small globules of liquid. And very often these globules will contain the virus that is responsible for spreading illnesses among human beings. So don’t forget to cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. You can use a tissue that should be discarded after you have used it. In case you use a handkerchief, put it for washing in the washing machine.

Take rest at home when not keeping well – try to take rest at home so that you can totally recover from an illness. Doing this will help you to get stronger and give you a chance to have lots of fluids in your body. But even if after this rest, there is no improvement in your condition then you definitely need to take the help of your personal medical care provider.

Don’t meet in crowded places – although you might like to socialize with other people, avoid meeting friends in crowded public places as viruses are totally active in such places.

Don’t touch your mouth, nose and eyes as much as possible – this tip is very important as germs can easily get into your system when you touch such parts of your body due to the presence of moisture.

Follow a healthy lifestyle – finally try to maintain a proper schedule in your daily life. Sleep well, try to avoid stress and have a proper diet.

All the above tips will help you in avoiding Swine Flu as well as unwanted stress caused due to the fear of contracting Swine Flu.

Going green – make it a way of life

Going green – make it a way of life

How often have we heard the words “going green” in our lives? Do we actually consider these words to be a part of our popular lingo or is it something that can make a major difference in our lives? If you are one of those who has ignored going green then let me tell you, we all need to make a difference so that the world will be a much better place to live in. And for those who think that going green involves a lot of hard work and sacrifice – I would like to tell you that in fact going green can actually mean a lot of fun.

There is no limit to the number of ways that we can go green – once you show your commitment to making the earth a better place to live in, ideas will keep popping out of your mind. Don’t restrict yourself when you keep getting ideas for going green. In case you are not able to come up with any idea, here are some ways of going green in your life:

Don’t allow the old computers in your office or home to accumulate as junk. Computers once discarded and treated as junk will keep emitting harmful particles regularly on our planet. It makes more sense to donate such computers to anyone who needs them. A lot of children’s centers and social organizations will find them very useful for their daily needs. You will also be able to save some taxes for donating these computers. So you are able to achieve three goals – go green, help the needy and also save some taxes for yourself – isn’t it real fun?

I especially enjoy reusing the plastic spray bottles. Firstly I use them as water guns. This is real fun as my kids use them to spray one anther with water. Of course I allow them to do this only after I have washed such plastic spray bottles in a proper manner. Sometimes I have even used these sprays as plant misters.

There will be a number of plastic jars present in your home. Use them as piggy banks for your kids. Use a bit of imagination and get them colored by your kids. Your kids will not only be able to save money but also enjoy the whole process of coloring their piggy banks.

Anything made of paper can be easily recycled in a variety of ways. Milk cartons are very good for using as planters. You can use cardboard for making cute houses for your children. Cardboard can also be used to make paper dolls.

Make bags from paper and then use them as trash bags. Remember, doing this will help you to avoid use of plastic bags. If you are able to do this, then you are reducing the use of plastic in your life which is a wonderful way to keep our planet free from the ill-effects of plastic.

Thus there is no dearth of ideas if you really want to go green and help in making our planet a better place to live in.