Being an earth admiring, tree hugging, gift loving, product producing Mama entering the #holidayseason has me feeling all kinds of ways about gift giving. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialization and encouragement to buy, buy, buy during this season. I LOVE to give #meaningfulgifts that honor the receiver and the planet, and I think I am pretty good at it. Here are the questions I like to ask myself when deciding on a purchase, to make sure I am in alignment with my beliefs:
1. Is it useful and will it bring #joy to the recipient?
In my experience, the most appreciated gifts are gifts that encourage fun, growth or nurture in some way like an experience or something that is useful.
Consider an #experientialgift! I love to gift a trip to the local movie theater, a relaxing massage, a trip to the ice-skating rink, or a class that excites the recipient. These gifts nurture on so many levels: they encourage community building and new friendships, support your local economy, and help develop a skill-set. From learning herbal medicine making, to ceramics, second or third languages, to mala making and intro to EVERYTHING, there are so many local educators and service providers that love to share their skills. Make it a date and join the recipient and grow your relationship to your loved one!
2. Is it locally sourced?
I get it, local isn’t always possible. Can you purchase the item in the US? Or as near the US as possible? When I order my coffee beans (the company, Conscious Coffees, supports organic, fair trade) I always request the bean closest to my geographical location.
· Local businesses are more likely to utilize other local businesses such as banks, service providers, and farms.
· For every $100 you spend at local businesses, $68 will stay in the community.
· Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the community in which they operate than chain competitors. Independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains.
· Small businesses employ 77 million Americans and accounted for 65% of all new jobs over the past 17 years.
In addition to helping build the local economy, there are also notable intangible benefits that come from supporting businesses in your local community.
· Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbors! They care about and are invested in the well-being of your community and its future.
· Local businesses are more accountable to their local communities and donate more money to non-profits.
· Supporting local businesses is good for the environment because they often have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies.
This information was sourced from: https://blog.mass.gov/blog/consumer-advice/think-local-7-reasons-why-supporting-local-business-is-good-for-your-community/
3. Will it last?
It’s so tempting to buy those cute or funny gifts that give someone a quick smile, but don’t really provide any long lasting pleasure or benefit. And unfortunately those items quickly make it into the trash bin, which equates to us essentially paying to pollute our lands. One of my favorite gifts I recently received is a beautiful ceramic mug that I get to enjoy my coffee out of every day. It holds my liquid gold and provides endless enjoyment!
4. Is it natural/organic?
Natural and organic products support our personal health and the health of the planet. Period. I have babies, and other people have babies and I want those babies to enjoy a good life on a planet that is healthy enough to support them.
5. How is it packaged?
Unnecessary packaging is, unnecessary. Minimal, plastic free and recyclable packaging is my preference.
Also, did you know plastic bags should not be recycled at home and plastic wrapping is not recyclable? Here is a link to learn more about that.
Amazing Gift Ideas:
Locally made art, jewelry or ceramics…that mug!
Palm-free, organic essential oil bar soap. Palm-free everything actually. Learn more about why palm free here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q77VbTcUhUw Bar soap because clean is nice and bar soap is an #ecofriendly alternative to plastic bottles of body wash.
Cute, fun or stylish warm socks make everyone happy!
A quality clothing item from a company that gives back! Patagonia is a good one. Their items last and they support many organizations on the front lines of environmental welfare. Visit here to learn more about Patagonia Action Works and The Cleanest Line: https://www.patagonia.com/home/
A gift to: wine and craft night, a local restaurant, movie, skill building class, climbing gym, exercise package, acupuncture or other self care experience, a local boutique gift card, meditation app membership, museum or roller-skating adventure, something useful for the house: cloth napkins a mushroom growing kit, a nice pan or cooking tool, a garden tool!
Donate money to an organization on behalf of the recipient.
Herbin Alchemy Aromatherapy Blends or Vitality Center experiences. My company is clean and organic focused, never incorporating junk that isn’t in the highest good of our bodies or out planet. https://www.herbinalchemy.com/
Thank you so much for reading, for considering and for making the most of this glorious time of year! A Merry Happy Joyous Holiday to you!
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