Tag Archives: thanksgiving

It’s Small Business Saturday!

Today is Small Business Saturday! A day to remember our small community shops, farmers’ markets and locally owned businesses.

Made in USA menswear

I love Thanksgiving weekend because I have four days off work and we never have any plans. See, it’s not all bad not having any family in the country and not caring about football or Black Friday sales. (Speaking of which, I hope you decided to skip the stores yesterday and instead enjoyed your day with friends, family, Mother Nature or Netflix!)

I am all about shopping small though!

Actually, the core of my Not Made in China Challenge is to shop from small, local businesses using sustainable production practices and eco-friendly materials. The efforts I make to do that supports our communities; the tax-paying entrepreneurs, makers, builders and artisans living here.

Supporting a small family business might help them afford a trip, Spanish lessons, donating to a non-profit or get health insurance when/if the GOP takes it away! That’s powerful.

Basically, small business Saturday is about just that.

It’s about “Main Street not Wall Street”. (My favorite hashtag!)

So go explore everything small this Holiday Season! It will be less stressful than the mall, you may find something  handmade and meaningful to bring home or give away and end up having interesting conversations with friendly store owners while you’re at it. You can shop small online too! Check out some great brands here and local Texas’ makers here.

Just like Earth Day is everyday – Small Business Saturday is everyday too.

Wishing you all a great continuation of this Thanksgiving weekend!

 

How to be an eco-friendly holiday joy spreader this season

The Holiday Season is one slippery slope of OVER CONSUMPTION. Decorations, cookies, candles and (ugly) sweaters calling from all aisles to all easily persuaded shoppers.

Of course the beauty of it all is that you don’t have to say no to holiday spirit and fun just because you say no to consuming ridiculous amounts of carbon emissions, sweatshop made goods, corn syrup, meat, artificial colors and gimmicks this season.

In order to kick off the season right, here are four holiday posts I have written previously about mastering this time of year in an eco-friendly, low consumption, sustainable way.

1. How to not be a consumption slave on Black Friday

Can I please try to persuade you to NOT shop this year? Look around you, you don’t need anything! Some food for thought in this post.

2. How to master the art of stress free gifting

For kids or adults, follow these easy steps for immediate success (and saving dough!)

3. How to decorate an eco-friendly Christmas tree

Read all about what’s better; a real or a artificial tree and how we did it in 2014 to keep it budget friendly, eco-friendly and not made in China.

4. How to master gift wrapping the eco way

Kind of self-explanatory, but here’s the key; reusable wrapping: good, disposable wrapping: bad. If you just remember that line, you’ll be fine.

Despite me being a bit of a Grinch, I think we will be celebrating this year. We do have four days off work, and with the belly growing I don’t think a trip would be a smart way to spend the holidays. I’ll be better off on the couch drinking spiced (non alcoholic) wine (Glogg) and eating ginger snaps.

glogg

I’ll be posting some great ideas for environmentally friendly and ethical gifts in the coming weeks as well. If you decide to shop for Christmas, I know you want to do it right.

But first, if you’re not staying in or opting to spend the weekend outside, remember this Saturday is Shop Small Saturday. A day to focus on supporting locally owned, small, neighborhood businesses. Vote with your dollars – shop items made right (here).

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Let’s STOP and be thankful. Not SHOP and be thankful.

The holiday season is upon us. Candlelight, warm cardigans and silent nights are around the corner. But first, time to give thanks.

I am so thankful for everyone who decided to check a tag, made a change, or brought a shopping bag to the store this year. I am thankful for all of you who commented, shared and engaged in conversations about sustainable fashion, shopping local, eating right, being mindful and air pollution.

Honestly, thank you – for you I give thanks.

THANKS

Now that we are heading into the WORSE weeks of the year, when it comes to America’s overconsumption and unnecessary spending, I want to remind everyone of some truths about this season starting in two days, on Black Friday.

  1. The shopping frenzy you may be about to participate in, was created by clever advertising professionals and companies with ONE goal: selling you as many things as possible (mostly ones you don’t even need). By doing so, making you believe that material things make you and people you shop for, happy. Are you that gullible?
  2. Every single item that you buy has a story. Materials were grown or made, someone assembled it (at below-minimum wage), dirty energy went into it. Once you are done with it and it ends up in landfill you are causing further pollution of the world.
  3. You are making yourself POORER by buying things you don’t need. Is that what you really want? That sounds stupid.
  4. There are fun and loving ways of sharing holiday spirit without gifts. Spending time together and not at the mall is a good start. Games, conversation, homemade food and drinks may be added as needed.

Still feel the need to spend your hard-earned cash?

Well, there’s a way to do it better! Saturday is Shop Small Saturday, a day to remember your small community shops, farmers’ markets and locally owned businesses. So stay in on Black Friday, enjoy your day with friends, family or Netflix, and go explore on Saturday instead. It will be less stressful, you may find something locally made and meaningful to bring home or end up having interesting conversations with friendly store owners. You definitely won’t find that, elbowing your way to a new flat screen, at Wal-Mart.

Rise above shopping. Happy Thanksgiving!

Stop for a second, be thankful (and pick up that trash)

It’s that time of year when we stop for a second, and remind ourselves of all the wonderful things and people we are thankful for. Today, I am thankful for hiking in a state park, Miss Swift’s 1989 blasting through crystal-clear-sounding headphones on an empty trail where no one can see me dance.

On the other hand, not so thankful for all the people who seem to think it’s ok to throw trash around them. Today I had an especially interesting find; a flower that does not belong in a Texas state park.

IMG_3546So many questions racing through my mind! Did the person who dropped this in nature even notice? Or simply decide to not pick it up? Who takes a plastic flower with them to the park? I couldn’t help but wonder (like Carrie would have said); does this person have any idea about the resources spent manufacturing the raw materials, assembling the decoration and then transporting it here from China?

I decided to pick it up, just like I do with other trash on the trail (eco-maniac, I know). I left it in a common area with hopes that someone would like it (hey, no judging on other people’s taste!) and take it home. If I had thrown it away, it had gone straight to landfill. What a waste of our earth’s resources.

And, a reminder, today is Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29)! A day to get out of the mall and instead support your local economy and neighbors. While you’re at it, shopping small, pick something locally made. Whatever you buy, I hope you don’t lose it in the park.