It’s that time of year when consumers consume. Out we go with our wallets, ready to spend, spend, spend, just to show those we love how much we care.
This year, I’m making a few little changes. Here are some ideas to help support our local economy:
Buy from local artisans. This is my favorite change. I’ve been scouring art fairs, attending holiday art shows and finding new delights with a super cool factor. We have some amazing local talent – support them this holiday season and delight your gift recipients!
Go green. Recycled grocery bags for our holiday cards. Drawstring gift bags for wrapping. LED lights. Bows made from old books. A wreath for the front door made from greenery from my yard. These are all little ways we plan to reduce our carbon footprint this year. Visit bridgingthegap.org for more green holiday ideas.
Eat local. Do you know that the Kansas City area boasts a strong network of local food producers? Find local ingredients at eatlocalkc.net.
Give local food. What do you give the person who has everything? What about a membership to a local CSA? CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and memberships provide local food, fresh out of the ground, on a periodic basis. Find more information at kc-csac.org.
What about restaurants? Are they locally owned? Do they buy locally produced food? Some big chains, such as Chipotle, have made commitments to supporting local farming, it just takes a little research.
Support a teacher. I don’t know about you, but piles of boxes under the Christmas tree lead to lots of stuff around the house. Consider enrichment gifts from local services. What about a class in art or music? Karate? Fitness classes? Cooking? And remember, nobody’s too old to try something new.
Shop the neighborhood. When those great sales with free shipping offers pop up on screen, it’s hard to justify leaving the house and battling the crowds. But those dollars leave our city and may not ever make it back here. Any time we buy in person, we’re paying someone’s wages. I’ll be hitting the mom and pop stores for at least some of my shopping.
Sure, we have some specific requests that will not be locally produced or purchased. I wish we had the budget to check off the wish list without going outside our area. But we’re doing more. What can you do?
Overland Park mom and 913 freelancer Emily Parnell blogs at mom2momkc.com.