Shop Smart, Shop Small

As we all stare the holiday season directly in the face, prepare our shopping lists, and hunt for the best deals, it's important to remember not to throw out all of the green habits we've adopted.

While an important part of living a greener life involves not consuming so much, there are ways to cut back at least a little bit when it comes to holiday shopping. Next week, I'll focus more on a holiday gift guide that looks a bit more into green gifts, but this week, I'm looking at Small Business Saturday!

Now in its seventh year, Small Business Saturday celebrates every community's small and locally owned businesses. Those ones where you know the owners, they recognize you and catch up when you visit, and where you can find unique goods or personal services.

Shopping locally is important and sustainable. When you support local shops and businesses, you know exactly who you're supporting, and you know more of your money is staying in YOUR local economy. While Small Business Saturday (#SmallBizSat for all of us social media nerds) a great one-day event, it's important to make shopping at local businesses a priority all year long.

Graphic: Small Business Saturday

With five days to go until Small Business Saturday, you've got time to plan out your trip and look for sales or discounts from local retailers. Social media and email newsletters are a great way to get in the know. Plus, find out which businesses near you are participating in Small Business Saturday promotions or events with the official guide map.

When you plan ahead for your shopping trips, focus on reducing your waste and impact as much as possible:
  • Plan your trip so you don't end up driving around in circles.
  • Carpool with friends instead of driving separately.
  • Bring your reusable shopping bags!!
  • Pack your coffee in an insulated mug. It'll stay hotter longer, anyway! (Stop at a local coffeeshop with your reusable mug and get a discount!)
  • Skip the gift-wrap service. (And the aisles upon aisles of non-recyclable gift wrap! I'll have a blog post in December all about how you can green your gift-giving.)
  • Only buy what you really need, not just anything you see that happens to be 50% off. Be intentional! (And there's one way my yoga practice ties into being green. 😄)
  • Stopping for breakfast or lunch? Dine at a local restaurant, bring your own reusable cup, and go inside instead of hitting the drive-thru.
  • Don't be idling your car in store parking lots! Once you park, conserve your gas and turn your car off.

As this holiday season kicks off, shop smart and shop local. Your retailers will thank you! It's been a tough year for South Louisiana, and many of our local retailers and service providers are still feeling the effects, so they'll be especially thankful for the boost in holiday business.

This year, I'm giving away some Small Business Saturday cloth tote bags, just in time for you to get your shopping on. Visit my Facebook and Instagram to enter the giveaway, which ends tomorrow!

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