You have the power to make a meaningful impact on humanity’s greatest challenges, particularly during the holiday season. There are things you can do that will make your purchases better for the planet and humanity, as you shop.
There are many benefits to gain when you choose to shop from local and/or small businesses. Local shops and small businesses tend to carry a wider variety of items that are ethically made, rather than mass produced items that exploit resources and populations in the manufacturing process. Holiday markets are great places to look since you can buy directly from the makers of the products. There are some great small businesses which sell online, directly to you, as well.
It’s a win for the planet and the local economy, when you choose to shop locally and with small businesses, rather than big box retailers.
They also practice green manufacturing with zero waste and they support fair trade.
There are certifications, that may be product specific, which you may be interested in when buying. This includes the following certifications:
Certifications can help you identify gifts that you will feel proud to give the people who matter most to you, even if you’re buying a gift for yourself.
Consider purchasing gifts from companies that give back. Knowing that a brand, from which you choose to buy, helps others, makes the gifts that much better.
Toms, a popular shoe company, offers a free pair of shoes for every pair purchased to children in need in countries like Argentina, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, and Haiti.
Another example is Amazon. They allow you to choose the charity you wish to donate to from an extensive list of options when you participate in the Amazon Smile program. Then, when you make purchases through the AmazonSmile program, 0.5 percent of your purchase price will be donated to the charity you selected.
Other companies to consider include:
And there are countless others to choose from. Of course, you can do your own research with your favorite businesses to see which causes they support and how your purchases can help forward those initiatives.
Research claims from companies that claim to use organic and healthy materials and that claim to have green manufacturing processes. This step may take a little more time when you’re shopping for holiday purchases, but it can make you feel more confident of the buying decisions you make.
Consider the following:
Taking the time to do this research will give you peace of mind about your purchases and your own role in helping others down the road or around the world.
Instead of buying gifts, many people choose to donate to charitable organizations, in honor of loved ones, during the holiday season. Do some research into charitable organizations that support causes in which your loved one believes and make a donation in their name. This is a gift that will make a long lasting difference not only in your hearts, but in the lives of others in need during the holidays.
Also, consider gifting experiences. Experiences create memories that will last a lifetime – long after the last bit of holiday pie has been eaten and the decorations have been put away.
Experiences to consider might include:
It doesn’t matter what the experience is so much as it is an experience you share with the people you love.
There are other things you can do to make more ethical and conscientious buying decisions throughout the holiday season. Small changes like these can have a huge impact on the planet, the people around you, and how you feel about your holiday shopping experiences.
Spending some time to take the steps listed above can leave you feeling great about your holiday buying choices this holiday season and beyond.
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