Shopping Local and Giving Green!
December 5th, 2017
By Kristen LaRocque, GreenUP Store and Resource Centre Coordinator
As the age of conscious consumerism continues to evolve and pick up steam, we hear a chorus of rally cries, “Shop local! Shop sustainably and reduce your carbon footprint!” Let’s unpack what these phrases mean in the context of Christmas gift giving today.
When you choose to shop at locally owned, independent businesses, more money is kept in your community. This is because local businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers, and farmers. The same is true of local artisans and crafters. These people make up the fabric of your community and like you, they pay taxes, access health care, and live their lives alongside you. Local business owners and artisans are more invested in their community’s future and are therefore more accountable.
In addition, choosing to shop locally indirectly benefits non-profits; statistically, charities typically receive greater support from local business owners, who also are more likely to shop locally themselves. Additionally, non-profits and charities like GreenUP often offer programming and services for little or no cost making these organizations a tremendous boon to the community. So, by supporting local business, you are in turn, supporting local charities.
Shop Sustainably and Reduce your Carbon Footprint!
Some products that are available on the market are produced using environmentally sustainable practices. This may include reduced water consumption, compostable or minimal packaging, or the use of locally sourced materials.
All products at the GreenUP Store have been specially selected to allow you the freedom to shop with confidence knowing that any of the items you choose have been carefully sourced and scrutinized to meet or exceed our high environmental standards while respecting ethical trade, labor and human rights practices and most importantly do what they’re supposed to.
For example, Free to Be Soap is made right here in Peterborough and is packed in biodegradable, dye-free cardboard. Two Loom Alpaca Socks come to us from Hastings, Ontario and have minimal, recyclable packaging, while This Old Flame Beeswax candles are completely package free and produced using local sources of beeswax.
CredoBags is a small scale, Montreal based company which makes reusable, organic cotton produce bags and other zero waste gear. They are packed and shipped to the GreenUP Store in a simple cardboard box with no plastic or excess packaging.
Similarly, Aide Body Care from Oshawa, Ontario limits waste by reusing packing materials. Another exemplary Canadian manufacturer is Oneka, which is based out of Frelighsburg, Quebec; this company produces all natural personal care products that are both biodegradable and made from locally sourced ingredients.
Down East Cleaning Supplies from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia also has a strong environmental mandate. Their products are biodegradable and phosphate-free, and are offered in bulk sizes to reduce plastic.
Many of the products featured at the GreenUP Store promote a more sustainable lifestyle by offering reusable alternatives to single use items. For example, Colibri offers machine-washable fabric sandwich bags, while Abeego offers a reusable beeswax food wrap that effectively replaces plastic wrap. These gift ideas fulfill a practical purpose and promote sustainability.
In addition, Colibri and Abeego are both Canadian companies who manufacture products right here in Canada and thereby support the Canadian economy. Ultimately, Canadian made products have a smaller carbon footprint than imported goods. They have to be shipped fewer kilometres, which means that fewer resources were burned up in getting it to you.
Some of the sustainable gift ideas featured at the GreenUP Store are made from repurposed or up-cycled materials. For example, Two Birds One Seed produces bowl covers, hand warmers, and eye pillows here in Peterborough using small ends and leftover fabric pieces. The Brain Injury Association of Peterborough Region produces beautiful wooden decorations from old dock board, while Chayle Jewellery features 100% recycled precious metals.
Whether you’re looking for a great gift for that special someone on your Christmas list, or for information about how to reduce your holiday waste this year, come let our friendly, knowledgeable staff assist you. Drop in to the GreenUP Store and Resource Centre at 378 Aylmer Street in downtown Peterborough for guilt-free and green giving options that are useful all year ‘round.