Does gift giving cause you a headache as you try to figure out what to give without compromising your values? Thoughtful gift giving can support your values and create meaningful connections with your friends, loved ones and even your employees and business acquaintances. Here are some ideas that address different pieces of the sustainability puzzle.
Relocalizing the Economy and Supporting Local Jobs
* Give locally made products
* Buy from locally owned entities
* Give gift certificates to local service providers
Protecting the Environment
* Give organic and natural products - foods, clothing, cosmetics
* Give energy efficient products - LED lights, bicycles, bike and car tune-ups
* Give gifts that minimize waste - cloth tote bags, reusable cups, recycling services
* Give fair trade and sweatshop free gifts - coffee, foods, clothing
* Give gift certificates for services that lighten the recipient's work load - house cleaning, oil change, plant care
For those who have "everything"
* Donate in their name to a local nonprofit
* Help them become carbon neutral by buying renewable energy credits or carbon offsets in their name
Several SBC members have products or services to meet multiple goals at once. For example, SBC membership includes local providers for every thing from renewable energy credits and carbon offsets to locally-made, environmentally friendly and/or socially aware food products, clothing, furniture, housewares, and more.
For more ideas, see Shopping Season - by Lisa Swallow, SBC member - Corridor Mag 11/6/12.