In the final nine weeks of 2022, what can each of us do to help make 2023 better for our region and the world?
One thing is to be conscious of how we shop for the holidays, for gifts and festivities. How can we express love, generosity, abundance, creativity, and human connection without driving up consumption which, according to the U.N. panel that studies global natural resources, is the biggest driver of global environmental degradation of all types: deforestation, toxic pollution, climate change, mining, fisheries, and the extinction of species. Buying things makes up 70 percent of the US Gross Domestic Product, and it reaches a peak during holiday season.
How can we decouple gift-giving and consumption? Some things to keep in mind are:
- Gifts don’t have to be things! Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items. The research found we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Do we need more things? Instead, consider giving your time … or an experience … or a donation in someone’s honor!
- Gifts don’t have to be new! Plenty of treasures can be found in second-hand and thrift stores and your own closets and bookshelves.
- Keep your spending local! Whether buying new gifts, second-hand items, or experiences, when you buy them from local businesses, you put your money back into our local economy – into the earnings of local people and the tax bases of our states and towns. Look for the Local First sticker in the stores you frequent!
Each week, we’ll add a new tip for gifts and festivities that give more hope!
Browse these lists of LOCAL FIRST businesses and organizations related to our tips!
Local First is a network of locally owned Upper Valley businesses and organizations. Recognizing that regional prosperity grows from communities actively building economies that strengthen and sustain the places we love, Local First members and Vital Communities work to promote, encourage, and support our local businesses & economy. CURIOUS ABOUT LOCAL FIRST? LEARN MORE HERE!
Places to buy or make locally made cards for vouchers:
Local restaurants or food vendors to buy from!
Local artists and makers and art supply and maker spaces
AVA Gallery and Art Center
Bean’s Art Store
Cedar Circle Farmstand
Collective-The Art of Craft, Inc
Fat Hat Clothing Co.
Free Verse Farm & Apothecary
Half Wild Arts
Honey Field Farm
Long River Gallery & Gifts
Shows & Tales
The Creation Place, LLC
Local nonprofits to give to
LISTEN Community Services
AVA Gallery and Art Center
Children’s Art Studio
Hartford Community Coalition
Northeast Reptile Welfare League
Spark! Community Center in Lebanon
The Growing Peace Project
Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation