christmas shopping

Today kicks off a three-week eco cajun series about greening Christmas...putting the GREEN in red-and-green, one might say. (And by one, I definitely mean me.)

This week focuses on Christmas shopping, since chances are, you've already started. There are many ways to make shopping less impactful on the environment. 

Last week I mentioned Small Business Saturday, and the support doesn't have to stop after one day. Shop local first, and if they don't have what you're looking for, try the bigger stores. Shopping local benefits your community so much more. No matter where you shop, be sure to bring your reusable bags. You'll have enough going on at your house without an extra pile of plastic bags adding to the craziness.

If you don't want to even face holiday traffic, shopping online is a great alternative. You save your fuel and time by not leaving your house or office. But shop smart. Even though you'll be saving your own gas, you'll still be paying for it through the gas required by the delivery trucks. Look for places that have more than one item you need, so you can consolidate the number of packages being shipped. The more you can buy from one site and have shipped in one box, the less impact you'll have on the environment.

Or, you can support green retail websites. One website I've used before is Buy Green. My favorite thing about them is how they reuse packaging when shipping items. I ordered my first Klean Kanteen through their site years ago, and my Kanteen arrived in a used Verizon cell phone box. Some other eco-friendly retail websites for you to consider:
  • Abe's Market. Has a large variety of natural goods.
  • Ebay Green. Used to be World of Good, and I've used World of Good in buying gifts for Christmas parties in the past. While they sell eco-friendly products, I'm not sure they focus as much on fair-trade and artisan-made items. 
  • Uncommon Goods. Not a completely recycled/green retailer, but they do have some great upcycled products.
  • ReuseIt. Similar to Buy Green; sells lots of great recycled or eco-friendly items.
  • United by Blue. For every item sold, the company removes one pound of trash from our oceans and other waterways.
  • DwellSmart. Another retailer with a large variety of recycled and eco-friendly things.
  • HipCycle. Great unique upcycled products.
  • Vine. A newer site with all kinds of green products. You can also shop by city in order to shop local, although the list of cities is not large yet.
And if you do order your gifts online, keep the boxes and whatever stuffing material came in them. You'll benefit from them when it's time to wrap your gifts, but that's another post in the eco cajun Christmas series.

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