Holiday Shopping Tips For a Better Future

The holidays are here and it's time to shop til we drop. Unfortunately, our shopping is hurting our planet and the environment. Here at the SAJATA-E haunting ground, we believe in MICRO vs MACRO. If we all make small choices collectively we can all make a big difference.

Here are my top five-holiday shopping tips that can benefit all of our lives:

  1. SHOP LOCAL and HANDMADE. Instead of buying that mass-produced "I LOVE YOU GRAMPA" mug from Amazon, hire a maker to custom make a product for your family. I have had customers over the years hire me to make all of their family and friends holiday gifts. Most people think this might be too expensive but it's actually really affordable. Just give the artist enough time to make the product in question. You are supporting local businesses, having a voice in how your products are made, and lowering your global footprint.
  2.  NO MASS PRODUCED CLOTHING! This is a no-no holiday shopper. Buy your fashionables from local designers. Also, encourage your friends and family to wear their clothing for a longer period of time before they discard them. If you're in need of a new outfit for an event, party, or photo opportunity consider renting your wears.
  3. BUY A WORKSHOP or LUNCH FOR YOUR FRIENDS or FAMILY. In most cases when shopping for someone older it might be best to buy them an experience gift. Lots of artists have workshops available online for rental or purchase. You can also simply just buy your friends lunch or a movie. Its the gesture people, THE GESTURE.
  4. USE BROWN BAGS FOR YOUR GIFT WRAP. If you can't find reusable gift wrap just use a brown paper bag or a silk scarf if the gift is small enough. Brown paper bags can be composted and the scarf can be reused and included as part of the gift.
  5. SELL or RECYCLE all E-WASTE BEFORE BUYING NEW TECH. This one is super important. Tech is the top-selling Black Friday buy. Before you reach into your pocket and buy that new iPhone sell or recycle your old one. Stores like BOOKOFF in Manhatten are more than willing to buy your unwanted technology. You can even buy second-hand tech from their locations after you trade-in your unwanted gear.
In short, consider shopping a little smarter and more sustainably this holiday season. The planet will thank you later.