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A (more) Sustainable Holiday

Updated: May 13, 2021

Happy post-holidays my friends!

This year, more than ever, I committed to being really intentional about my holiday shopping. Now that we are in post-holiday mode I am happy to settle in to share some of my little victories in giving and receiving.

Before we dive in, here are a few key factors that helped frame my approach to holiday shopping this year.

  1. Not everyone needs (or wants) more stuff! 

  2. Try to support as many small and local businesses as possible.

  3. Support businesses that do good in the world via social or environmental impact.

  4. Be thoughtful and intentional, always.

 

All things Downtown Shopping

Downtown Lewisburg, PA – I am fortunate to live in a downtown with dozens of small businesses merely steps from my front door. I made a conscious effort to do much of my holiday shopping downtown supporting many consignment and second hand stores.

Downtown Cranford, NJ –  Voted the #1 downtown in New Jersey! If the shops aren’t jumping out at you consider a gift certificate to a downtown restaurant or partnering with a downtown business to host your work or family holiday party.

I also received an extra special gift from my friend Kathryn, a bottle of wine from her local winery in St. Augustine, Florida that it shaped like the St. Augustine lighthouse! It’s almost too pretty to drink and reminds me of my trip down to visit Kat in Florida, it’s a win-win.

Environmentally Friendly Finds 

Sea Bags – I found this company while looking for a bag for my mom. Sea Bags are located in Maine and create bags and other gifts from recycled boat sails making a unique and sustainable gift option plus a conversation piece.

Reclam The Bay – A non profit environmental organization that helps protect and educate about the Barnegat Bay Watershed. An obvious choice for Captain Pete.

My holiday gift exchange oddly emphasized oral health this year with an electric Quip toothbrush (honestly, not sure of the environmental impact on this one, but I can tell you brushing your teeth for the recommended 2.5 minutes is no joke) and Dental Lace an eco-friendly, zero waste silk floss in a refillable glass container (big win).

Support Makers, Crafters, and Artisans

If you don’t know any personally, ask on Facebook if any of your friends or family have businesses you can support over the holidays or consider a site like Etsy where I found an artist to create a pet portrait for Tom’s parents.  I also received a beautiful coaster from GlaucaGirl a local artisan raising funds for a diabetic alert dog.

When in doubt…

You might need to ask the recipient what would be most helpful for them this year. Maybe they could use some extra money for groceries or rent, a meal delivery, an experience together, a babysitter, a self care day, or something else all together.

 

In closing, let me assure you that my holiday spending habits were far from perfect. Amazon boxes did show up with regularity and I stood in line in Target, Starbucks in hand, more times than I care to admit. But they say it’s about progress and not perfection and I consider this holiday season a step in the right direction.

Some goals for next year:

  1. Support more businesses owned by women and people of color

  2. Eco-friendly gift wrapping (and no glitter – sad)

 

What I am reading: 

The Soul of an Octopus Sy Montgomery

Get Over Your Damn Self Romi Neustadt

What I am watching: 

Parks and Rec for the hundredth time.

Also a lot of Cops, lol.

What I am listening to: 

Anything in my new airpods! Especially Spotify, I stand firmly on my stance that I don’t want premium – I like the commercials.

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