Guest Post by Cameron Bruns
The holidays may be just around the corner, but shopping doesn’t need to be burdensome or stressful. Skip the mall and choose to give locally produced goods or give activities as gifts rather than material items. There are many affordable and eco-friendly ways to show your family how much you love them this year:
- 1. Purchase a subscription to a local CSA. CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture,
is a great way for people to get local, in-season produce straight from the farmer. By purchasing a CSA subscription, one is investing in the crops of that particular farm, and directly benefiting from the outcome. There are many CSA’s across Massachusetts and there are varying prices/amounts of produce to choose from. To make your CSA gift subscription as easy and eco-friendly as possible, look at farms closest to where the recipient lives. To search for nearby farms with CSA programs, visit: http://www.localharvest.org. Another similar option is purchasing a subscription to Boston Organics. Unlike CSAs, Boston Organics isn’t necessarily local produce, but it is an easy way to get fresh USDA certified organic fruits, vegetables and dairy. Learn more at http://www.bostonorganics.com
- 2. Give a gift certificate to a green restaurant. There are 19 restaurants in the greater Boston area that have been recognized by the Green Restaurant Association for their sustainability efforts. Taranta in the North End, Grendel’s Den in Harvard Square, and The Fireplace in Brookline are city favorites. Or giving a giftcard to the green local burrito chain, Boloco, would be a great stocking stuffer!
- 3. Shop at great stores in Massachusetts that sell exclusively sustainable goods. Ordering online is an easy way to shop at your own pace while cutting the carbon footprint of your gifts. Or giving a gift certificate to any of these places would be a great way to support local business while encouraging your friends and family to see what’s new on the eco-consumer market. Try looking at Nancysgonegreen.com of Framingham or Ecolissa.com of Westborough or Solar Panel Jewelry of Medford. Any of these websites are sure to have great gifts for moms, sisters, or daughters.
- 4. Another great gift that is great for everyone AND the environment, is a donation to an environmentally focused nonprofit organization.
For example, The Nature Conservancy website has monthly or one-time-only donation options, and with a first-time contribution, donators are sent a Nature Conservancy tote bag – which would be a great way to remind your loved one of a donation made in their name.
- 5. Stocking stuffers can also be green!
Try to think of items that can be used over and over: cloth napkins, reusable chopsticks, or to-go coffee mugs. Some good green and local stocking stuffers could be a treat from Taza Chocolate, a beauty or bath product from Leap Organics, or lip balm from New Hampshire’s Badger Balm.