Well, it’s nice to have survived Black Friday. I made it by staying away from all the stores. It was a peaceful day in the woods for me, with a small fire and a comfy chair. I highly recommend it. But now there is shopping to be done, and it won’t be painful. I have lots of ideas from local stores and businesses for everyone on my list, including a few furry friends.
Support local green businesses while you shop. The Howard County Green Business Council appreciates the efforts community members make to green their holiday season, and that includes spreading some of the green to local businesses that sell environmentally preferable products or services. The following gifts can be purchased in affordable price ranges, from members of the Howard County Green Business Council, the greenest businesses in the County.
For instance, one gift that keeps on giving is a home energy audit. You can help your friends and family save money for many years to come by buying them a gift certificate for an energy audit.
Here is a list of gifts that can be purchased in Howard County.
- Fair-trade, USDA organic, and non-GMO drinking chocolates.
- All natural body care products with natural ingredients in their products: pure essential oils for fragrance; clays, plants, and herbs for dyes; and plant-based oils as a soap base.
- Fair trade shea butter and coconut-based body care products from Togo. The maker of this product supports fair-trade, women-run cooperatives in Togo.
- Solar phone chargers.
- Candles made from domestic beeswax. They are scented with natural essential oils and colored with natural mineral pigments.
- Water Clocks .. clocks that run on water!
- Cookbooks for thoughtful eating, whether that’s defined as locavore, vegetarian, vegan or raw. Other books for thoughtful living — meditation, creativity, yoga, spirituality, food/ecology issues.
- Clothing made from organic cotton, supporting fair-trade, community projects.
- Eco-friendly, USA made pet toys and beds made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles.
- Fair trade sweaters handmade by Inca Artisans in South America. 100% wool and plant based dyes.
- Pet treats – handmade and natural ingredients.
- Ornaments — handmade and crafted by local villagers in Thailand to help to create jobs, better schools, and drinking water.
And then, after you’ve shopped for everyone else and still have some money left over, why not invest in your own future by looking into a solar system for your home. Green Business Council members can help homeowners pay zero for utility bills and generate income at the same time!
Again, please visit the Howard County Green Business Council website for more ideas and information about this important sector of our local economy.
Best wishes for a green holiday season,Ann Elsen December 2012