Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Mall-Free Directory for Green Gifts

I'm staying out of the malls this season for three reasons:

1) They are busy, hot and people sometimes get a little pushy under those conditions. And I especially don't enjoy seeing the rows and rows of a full parking lot surrounding every entrance.

2) Malls are designed to encourage spending. The amount of crap that is purchased to celebrate this time of year is unneeded and excessive. The money that is spent on the excess could be diverted to areas that really need the money.

3) I like to support local businesses (AKA the little guy), and/or spend my hard-earned cash on people and things that will truly benefit from my dollar. Making ethical purchases will bring joy to you, the person receiving the gift and others affected by your donation or business.

So here is a quick list of sites that you can check out to make your gift giving this year a little bit easier, and shows that you care. You can always do some research for specific organisation supporting the type of things you think they would like. Or, look up in the phone book or ask around where's a good place to buy sustainable gifts in your town.

Green Gift Lists:
Planet Friendly: This site talks more than just gifts, they also disuses ways to celebrate with sustainability in mind as well.

A Tyee Ethical Gift Guide: This paper puts always out really good articles. You should check this site out for a list of sites, there are also some good links in the comments so be sure to look over those.

MCC: Mennonite Central Committee - Anyone who knows me, knows that the MCC Thrift Shop is like a second home for me. I think that this is one of my most cherish charitable organizations. Send a child in need a school kit or they also have some really good books to purchase off this site as well.

WWF Products:
Support WWF by purchasing your holiday gift cards from them, or they even have yoga pants or baseball caps.

WorldVision: Instead of buying stuff for people who have a lot of stuff, send some stuff to a family who really needs stuff. For example, you can give a family in Africa two bunnies, from which 20 bunnies will come within a year! Or, for $32 you can give someone a insecticide mosquito net.

Environmental Gifts:

Reusable Bags: buy someone special on your list a heavy duty shopping bag that can easily be folded to fit in a purse or even a pocket. They also have reusable bottles and lunch bags. I think this site is reasonable, affordable and reliable.

You can order stuff from this site for your loved ones or just for people you have to give to. I think this site has a lot of interesting stuff which I have never seen before. Check this out for that unique person you're looking to buy for.

TreeHugger Book list

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