Make an Impact During the Holidays with Responsible Consumption
This time of year is special for its cultivation of giving, connection, and community. For many, the act of giving a gift can far outweigh the joy of receiving one. In a time of celebration we want to encourage intentional consumption that allows us to show up for the ones we love during the holidays. Here is Measure Meant’s guide to navigating the holiday season, sustainably.
The number one way to be more sustainable around the holidays is to simply reduce. Reducing our intake of goods and evaluating what we buy negates the need to create more products in the first place, and leaves a positive impact on the environment and our wallets. Instead of purchasing a plethora of gifts for friends or family this year, try an experiential gift that will bring you together and into the community.
Beyond just environmental sustainability, reducing your purchasing this holiday season can also help with financial burdens. Talk with your family and friends about buying less for each other this year.
There is no doubt that you’ve heard this one before, but let’s reiterate why it matters and what your dollars actually do when you shop locally.
Buying from independent, locally-owned businesses strengthens our local economy. Often, local businesses are owned by neighbors, friends, colleagues, and other people in our social networks. According to a study by the American Independent Business Alliance, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $48 is retained in the local economy. Only $14 is retained for the same purchase at a national chain and only about $1 is retained locally for purchases made on-line. Buying locally ensures we maintain a vibrant economy that improves the prosperity of the entire community.
Finding independently-owned businesses to support in Spokane during the holidays isn’t difficult. Check out here and here. If you are not in the Spokane area, you can find a list of some local businesses in your community through the national Chamber of Commerce website or a quick Google search. Check out our previous blog, How We Buy Matters, to read more about the positive impact that shopping locally has on our community.
Look for Logos
Looking for accredited and transparent certifications can help cut the greenwashing when finding that perfect gift. While shopping this season, see if you can spot any of these third-party verified sustainability certifications:
B Corps are for-profit companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. They use their profits and growth to positively impact their stakeholders – including the planet.
To explore B Corp Businesses, see the Find a B Corp directory on B Lab’s website!
A women-owned business certification validates that at least 51% of the company is owned, operated, and managed by women. This is a good way to create a more inclusive economy.
A 1% for the Planet certification is simple. Since all companies profit from the resources they take from the earth, they should protect those resources by donating at least 1% of their profits to approved, environmentally focused nonprofits. A few examples of 1% for the Planet companies include: Townshend Cellar, The Grain Shed, Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, and TAZO. For more businesses see the 1% for the Planet Directory.
Similar to the women-owned business certification, the minority-owned certification validates that at least 51% of the company is owned, operated, or managed by someone who is socially and/or economically disadvantaged. And like the women-owned certification, supporting minority owned businesses promotes a more inclusive economy, which benefits everyone.
Need More Motivation?
Check out B Lab’s Give Greater articles that feature B Corporations and self-care gifts that you can give this holiday season.
Join us by being intentional about where, what, and why we buy. Together, we can make a powerful impact on our communities and the environment.
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