INroof’s Sustainable Gift Guide
A Sustainable Christmas
Are you torn between ambitious zero-waste goals and a childlike enthusiasm for the holidays? Do you loathe nick-knacks just until they’re labeled stocking stuffers? Protest packaging but still love gift wrap? You’re not alone! A satisfied sustainable lifestyle requires a happy compromise. So, how can we reward ourselves for a year of mindful sustainability without undoing all of our conservation efforts?
Shop slow. Shop responsibly. Shop ethically. Shop local. Shop sparingly.
Do your research, read the labels and turn your holiday shopping into one more way you make the world a better place. If you plan to give gifts, shop at retailers who have a positive impact on their community and the world. Look for small and local businesses first, then choose companies that operate sustainably and support nonprofits. Finally, remember time is the greatest gift, so instead of physical things give experiences like a brunch or dinner out, tickets live performance, or a trip to a local museum, park or attraction. Make a plan for Black Friday, shop local on Small Business Saturday and let’s make this holiday season very merry for everyone!
Corporate giants just don’t value each purchase the same way small businesses do. Supporting a small business means helping an individual or family follow their dreams and reach financial goals. Plus, the employees and profits are tied to your local community making the benefits cyclical for the entire community. In addition to your local shops, websites like Etsy and NOVICA give you access to artisan producers across the country and the world.
- Eighteen Friend Street (Amesbury, MA) Locally owned and operated shop known for its community involvement and stock of unique handmade and locally-produced gifts
- Taza (Somerville, MA) Local, ethically-made, Mexican-style stone ground chocolate certified Direct Trade and Organic
- Shop Slo (Colorado) Sustainable home goods and fashion from around the world founded by a relocated Amesbury-native
Once the only option, shopping local is now a conscious choice. Shopping local gives you a chance to meet and support local businessowners and their employees. Local shops also reduce the amount of unnecessary transport waste and often stock a high proportion of locally-made goods.
- Farm + Sea (Amesbury, MA) Small batch candles and fragrances that reflect our local New England culture
- Cider Hill Farm (Amesbury, MA) Everyone’s favorite destination for “u-pick” and cider donuts is open until mid-December offering local foods, kitchen tools and home goods
- Sea Bags (Portland, ME) Accessories and décor made from recycled sails
Companies That Give Back
Now more than ever, shoppers are looking to spend their money with companies that use their influence for good. That means more companies are sourcing ethically, transitioning to clean energy, diversifying advertisements and their workforce, and making donations for each sale. Supporting businesses that believe success is more than just the bottom line makes shopping twice as fun.
- Patagonia – The self-proclaimed activist company offers the finest outdoor gear and sportswear
- TOMS – Their “one for one” motto means the footwear company originally inspired by Argentine alpargatas makes a donation for every product sold
- Parks Project – Apparel, gifts and home decor that both feature and support conservation projects in our national parks
When scarves are too lame, perfume is too generic, or you just don’t know what they like, gift experiences are a fool-proof choice. Everyone eats, so a gift certificate to a local restaurant is never a bad option. An invitation out might be just the motivation they need to check out a local favorite. Plus, you save on gift wrap!
- Amesbury Beer Tour (Amesbury, MA) Amesbury beer is officially a thing! Show some hometown love to our two local breweries – Barewolf Brewing & Brewery Silvaticus
- Dinner & Show (Salisbury, MA; Newburyport, MA; Hampton, NH) Local music venues are the perfect spot to scope new local acts or see well-known favorites in an intimate setting – check out the lineups at Blue Ocean Music Hall, The Firehouse or the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
- The Arcade (Salisbury, MA; Hampton, NH) Our unique and nostalgic seaside arcades offer fun for the whole family – grab some rolls of quarters, get a slice of a beach pizza and some Willy’s Candy peanut butter cups and make an afternoon of it
With this sustainable holiday shopping guide, you are sure to have a joyful and eco-friendly holiday season! And if you want to make an even bigger impact, make this winter the last one you rely solely on expensive and polluting heating fuels. Check out INroof.solar – solar thermal collecting metal roofing panels for a clean, free heating alternative that’s good for your wallet and the environment.