With cooler temperatures, holiday decor and a heightening bustle, its no wonder many of us are feeling the holiday spirit. With that cheer, comes a lot of waste, consumerism and overall watering down of the essence of the season. So, how can you participate, while still making conscious choices? Its simple, it just takes a bit of creativity and thinking outside the box, literally! Check to see if there are local craft fairs, where the wares of local artisans are available. Usually these fairs tend to spring up all over the country, even in cold snowy places like Union Square, New York City. These fairs tend to bring in artists from all over, offering unique, hand made gifts that are more likely to be appreciated and less likely to make it into a landfill within the next year. Don't have any fairs in your local town? Check out Etsy, where you will be sure to find the perfect gifts, made with the creative hands of artists from all over!
Are you of the creative sort? Make your own gifts! May sound time consuming or even daunting. But just imagine receiving something that was especially made for you. The holidays tend to enhance global consumerism, so why not take a unique and beautiful approach and gift consciously? Why bother gifting someone something that you know, they won't like or even appreciate or worst, end up in the garbage.
Wondering how to be Eco Chic this holiday season? Simple.
- Buy gifts that matter. We're not talking about the cost, but the true intrinsic value of something. Was it handmade, local, upcycled, or sustainably made? These are all great things to consider when you are running through your shopping list. Its easy to get caught up in the momentum at the mall, to see who has the most shopping bags, but then again, who really cares? Gifting can transcend from an obligation to the opportunity to give someone something they will not only use, but truly cherish.
- Shop vintage. With all the great thrift and vintage shops popping up all over the place, even online, its easy to find the perfect gift. Many re-use stores are found in most metropolitan areas and can offer really unique, well priced gift giving opportunities.
- Opt out of traditional gift wrapping and think of craft paper, twine and a beautiful sprig! Gift wrap, in the traditional sense, tends to use inks that are laden with petroleum. Ribbon is usually made of plastic. Why not use cloth ribbon or a natural burlap ribbon? Other great ideas are using baker's twine, raffia, jute and even cotton. Beautiful fabric remnants make stunning wrapping paper, that you can use year after year. More and more people are appreciating the details and simplicity of unique and natural gift wrapping.
- Gift to those less fortunate in the name of a loved one! There are many people out there that will not receive a single gift this holiday season. With the help of many organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Unicef, Heifer, you can gift on behalf of someone else and help change a person's life!
- Give the gift that keeps on giving - seeds! With the gift of seeds, your recipient will enjoy the gift many times over as they harvest your gift, season after season!
There are many opportunities to make better decisions this year. Remember that every dollar spent is the opportunity to support a local store or artisan. May this season continue to bring you peace in your heart and the opportunity to share it with others!