MNN week in review montage

Our picks for the week of Dec. 19-25: 

• This green destination will take the chill out of the air. Samoa offers the beauty of the South Pacific without as many fellow travelers along for the ride.

• Read the inspiring story of a blogger who has committed to giving a daily donation to charity for a year.

• These six cool ice hotels are for the brave at heart.

• Are you ready to bake? We've got six Christmas cookie recipes you'll love. Plus, be sure to check out MNN's Christmas channel to find more activity ideas for the holiday break.

ice diving• Dive into winter with this gallery of 12 wacky winter sports, including chilly ice diving (photo at left.)

• 2010 marked eBay's 15th year of existence. In honor of the online auction site, here are 10 insider secrets every buyer and seller should know.

• You've done your Christmas shopping and now you're waiting for the bills to roll in. Here's how to cut costs when money is tight.

• Good ol' Cracker Barrel is modernizing — at least in the parking lot. Soon electric vehicle owners will be able to charge up their cars while they eat.

• And finally, GM will repurpose 100 miles of oil-soaked plastic boom from the Gulf oil spill into plastic parts for the Chevy Volt.

Plus: Don't miss this adorable pile of Rhodesian ridgeback puppies in the week in photos. 

MNN week in review: Beautiful Samoa and micro-giving
Catch up on the environmental headlines for the Mother Nature Network from the week of Dec. 19-25.