Monday, November 24, 2014

Sustainability Nook: 8 Tips for a Sustainable Holiday Part 1

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1. Support handmade or give gifts you that you make yourself. (You saw that coming, right. Certainly, this would be my number one sustainable tip. Ha!) Here are just a few reasons to support handmade: 

a. you support local artisans, your local community and your local economy.
b. making something for a loved carries way more meaning than any other item. 
c. you'll get high quality items that are built to last with much attention paid to construction and details.
d. handmade goods can become family heirlooms.
e. you're helping the environment. You're buying handmade goods in your local community which means that less gas is being used by some commercial truck to transport goods from point A to point B, less pollution is filling the air to transport those goods, etc., etc.
f. you're making a connection with the individual that conceived of and constructed the item[s] you're buying...and that's an awesome feeling and a relationship that may be forged for many years to come.
g. you're getting a unique item that probably noone else in your world will have.
h. you can avoid crowded stores and get all (or most) of your shopping needs met at one mega awesome craft fair!
i. handmade goods are truly priceless because artisans put so much time, thought, details, heart, soul and much love into the items they make.

2. Buy local. Putting your money into your local community not only supports YOUR community and helps to make your community thrive, but it also has a smaller environmental impact than mass-marketed products. 

3. Cook or bake a gift. Who doesn't love food? If you're a fabulous cook or make the most amazing baked goods, this is right up your delicious and so special!

4. Shop fair trade. Give socially conscious gifts like fair trade coffees, teas, chocolates and products. 

5. Support socially conscious gift giving. Put yourself or your money to amazing use by helping others, or helping the planet. Volunteer at a food pantry, homeless shelter, dog shelter or any other organization that you may feel connected to. You can also 'adopt' an animal (like a monkey or polar bear, pig, etc.), at a zoo or a nature center and you can give, give, give in numerous other ways. 

6. Give a child a gift that'll encourage them to be curious about other living creatures and their world. Gift them with a membership to a nature center, farm, museum, or a zoo. Gift them with a plot at a community garden, OR make an awesomely creative handmade 'gift certificate of volunteerism' (and make up a sweet name for your gift certificate) that allows them to volunteer at their local animal shelter. This is totally free and innovative idea that encourages a spirit of volunteerism.

7. Gift loved ones with an experience such a craft class, a camping trip, a cooking/baking class, language class, or tickets to a local performance like The Nutcracker or other local, theatrical, dance or musical performances.

8. Plan a huge family and friends get together and have a 'Handmade Holiday Fest' where you all make your 2014 holiday ornaments and holiday accoutrements. This will be a blast, plus the things you make will be remembered, cherished and used for a lifetime. This has the potential to turn into an amazing and popular yearly event, which would be AWESOME!!

Have a fabulously wonderful sustainable holiday!

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