With the holiday season now in full swing, you might find the length of your to-do-list in direct conflict with your desire to tread more lightly on the earth and live sustainably as you go in search of that perfect gift, that perfect tree, and even the perfect ingredients for your holiday meal.
While is might be stressful, the holiday season is the perfect time to take advantage of the resources and businesses that support the same goals that you do.
As I wrote about last week, one of the simplest ways to start is to buy from local businesses. Buying from local businesses rather than at chain stores or online, keeps money in the community, and helps local economies because these businesses are more likely to buy from local suppliers, hire these local service providers, and of course hire employees.
I also included this list of web sites that list independents by business type, to get you started:
If you are worried about where to eat because you are too busy to get in the kitchen to make the kind of meals that you want to, you can have dinner at a Certified Green Restaurant in your city knowing that you are still supporting sustainable food.
If you are concerned about where that Christmas tree is grown, you can get your tree at a local Christmas tree farm. There are almost 5,000 choose and cut tree farms in the United States. Not only are you supporting a local business, but, each tree that is harvested is replaced with new seedlings, and the tree farms themselves absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. When the season is over real trees are usually chipped and used in mulch for landscaping.
Or, you can even rent one. An example is The Living Christmas Company in the Los Angeles area. It is committed to sustainability in everything it does. The company even delivers its living trees in a bio-diesel truck and also sells environmentally friendly ornaments, LED holiday lights, recycled ribbons, and fair trade ornaments as well.
You can also give the perfect gift for those who tend the earth or care about how it is tended, by giving your friends and loved ones sustainable, local, food and farm gifts and by giving the urban farmer or gardener in your life new tools to make the job easier.