Shop to support our community this holiday season

December 4th, 2018

By Kristen LaRocque, GreenUP Store and Resource Centre Coordinator

Black Friday was just over a week ago, and with it comes the holiday shopping season. While Black Friday conjures up images of shopping centre frenzies for popular gift items, and spending heaps of cash on hugely discounted goods, GreenUP invites you to consider an alternative.

We suggest experiencing your holiday shopping with a green approach. The GreenUP Store provides you with many ethical, eco-friendly, local, non-toxic, reusable, and natural alternatives. In addition, we carry products from local non-profit organizations and charities. The proceeds from these products support work in our community, and support GreenUP, too. GreenUP is also a registered charity and has long fostered partnerships with other non-profits and community organizations in the Peterborough area.

Members of the Sewing Collective, Dilsha Ahmed, Zakia Al-Haddad (Instructor), Khadija Derde, and Emine Derde create a variety of beautifully hand sewn items such as tea cozies, aprons, reusable fabric sandwich bags, casserole carriers, and more.

The Sewing Collective

The Sewing Collective is a project managed by the New Canadians Centre and the Peterborough Immigration Partnership. Its goal is to empower newcomer women with sewing skills and English language skills, while providing a space to come together to share family stories and their new lives in Canada.

Members of the Sewing Collective have created a variety of everyday items that are beautifully hand-sewn using donated or up-cycled fabrics. The GreenUP Store carries a selection of casserole carriers, teapot cozies, full and half aprons, and reusable sandwich wrappers with Velcro closures. These all make wonderful host gifts over the holidays.

Members have also designed a set of hanging hand towels, which are an excellent reusable alternative to paper towels. In addition, they have produced reusable coffee cup cozies which can replace the single use paper variety. These products are very much in line with GreenUP’s mission to inspire and empower environmentally healthy and sustainable action in our community.

Three Sisters, a local eco-landscaping social enterprise, makes beautiful holiday wreaths made from local greenery and beautiful, reusable ribbons – available at the GreenUP Store.

Three Sisters

Three Sisters is an eco-landscaping social enterprise dedicated to re-wilding urban spaces. They work to support pollinator populations and to create beautiful, sustainable landscapes for homeowners and businesses across the Peterborough area.

Three Sisters also produce a variety of handmade bee houses for native bee species, which can be found at the GreenUP Store. These bee houses are specifically made to house native bees, such as Carpenter bees and Leaf-cutter bees. These bee “hotels” are made from scrap timber and phragmites, which is a prolific invasive species that can often be seen growing along highways in Southern Ontario.

The Three Sisters have also been busy collecting winter greenery, branches, decorative twigs, and festive decorations from nature to make a variety of winter wreathes and arrangements, which are available for purchase at the GreenUP Store, or can be ordered directly from Three Sisters at threesisters.ptbo@gmail.com

Hope Mill volunteers sell some of their handmade wooden creations at the GreenUP Store including rolling pins, wooden toy cars, cheese boards, and more

Friends of Hope Mill

Hope Mill is an historic sawmill and woodworking museum, located on the Indian River in Keene, Ontario. It also features wool and carding artifacts from the 1800s. Hope Mill Restoration Volunteers have worked since 2001, to restore the original sawmill and wood-finishing equipment, in cooperation with the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority and the Otonabee Region Conservation Foundation. Hope Mill was officially reopened as a heritage demonstration site on Sunday June 3rd, 2006.

In the fall of 2017, the volunteers at Hope Mill incorporated under the name of Friends of Hope Mill. This was done with the help of the Ontario Historical Society and ensures that the Mill will remain operational for the foreseeable future.

Hope Mill volunteers make unique, wooden crafts that you will find for sale at the Mill and also at the GreenUP Store. These include a variety of homes for local wildlife including bat boxes and wren and owl houses. These wood-working volunteers also make a variety of household items such as wooden rolling pins, cheese and cutting boards, and cedar barbeque scrappers. Right now at the GreenUP Store, we have a small selection of wooden toy cars and a table and chair set for children.  All proceeds from these handmade crafts go to the continued maintenance, operation, and restoration of the Mill.

Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region

The Brain Injury Association of Peterborough Region (BIAPR) is the registered business name of the Four Counties Brain Injury Association. BIAPR is a registered non-profit charitable organization primarily funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

BIAPR recognizes that the impact of brain injury can be devastating not only to the person with an acquired brain injury, but to the family members, caregivers, friends, and their community. It can affect every aspect of life, often resulting in loss of livelihood, isolation, and physical, emotional, and behavioural changes.

Members of BIAPR produce a variety of handmade wooden decorations. These are on display at the BIAPR office at 158 Charlotte Street and for sale at the GreenUP Store. Depending on the season, members of BIAPR make welcome signs and three dimensional pumpkins and snowmen from recycled dock boards and up-cycled 2x4s. As we get closer to the holidays, there will be an array of wooden tree ornaments and festive home décor items available.

Proceeds from these projects go directly back into member programming so that BIAPR is able to take part in group events such as the Peterborough Liftlock Cruise and Peterborough Pete’s games, with other Brain Injury Associations.

“I really enjoy helping out with these projects because it gives me something to look forward to,” says one member of BIAPR. Another member shares, “Whenever I can do things to help out, it means a lot to me.”

These handcrafted items really help to make the GreenUP Store feel festive, and they also serve as a reminder that we live in a large, diverse community with non-profits, charities, and community groups that typically offer programming and services for little or no cost to participants. This means that they can help a wider segment of the population.

The holiday season can offer an opportunity to support many local organizations that work to improve our quality of life, preserve our history, provide habitat for declining species, or generate social capital and connection in our community. These resources help to make Peterborough a great community.

This year, shine a green light on holiday shopping and visit the GreenUP Store at 378 Aylmer Street N in downtown Peterborough for some ethical and community-friendly alternatives. In addition to carrying products from other charities, we also carry handmade items from over 50 local artists and crafters.

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