Great Gifts Don't Have to Be "Stuff"
Does “Buying Local” mean buying more "stuff?" Certainly not.
We occasionally receive comments from folks concerned that campaigns like Shift Your Shopping and Small Business Saturday encourage more consumption. While we can't speak for our partners, AMIBA’s goal is to promote more conscious purchasing from local independent businesses, not necessarily purchasing more.
The concerns, however, inspired us to offer ideas for those who consider the environmental impacts when choosing gifts. We're not listing "green gifts," for which there are countless other sources, but primarily non-material or consumable gifts -- many of which can support local entrepreneurs.
- Local Ideas
- Physical Things Likely to Reduce Net Consumption
- Gift Ideas for Kids
- The Gift of New Skills
Local Ideas (Photo credit: Turning Wheels for Kids)
- Gift certificate to an indie restaurant, pub or cafe (bonus points if it supports local farmers, ranchers and brewers!)
- Tickets to a local theater, concert, sports event...
- Donating in recipient's name to one of their favorite non-profits
- Offer your skills for X amount of time on a gift certificate (so the giftee won't forget your offer)
- An online subscription to recipient's favorite local newspaper or other publication
- Credit for a class at a community college or continuing education program
- Punchcard or gift certificate to a local gym, recreation center, yoga studio...
- Gift certificate for massage, hair styling, housecleaning, landscaping or other personal service
- Child care for a play day/night
- Lessons to learn a new skill (see list at bottom)
- A close-to-home getaway at a special B&B, inn, etc.
- A water cooler or filter system for an habitual bottled water user
- A home soda fountain for consumers of soft drinks
- A household energy audit / weatherproofing service
- A quality commuter bicycle, tune-up, fenders, panniers or other items to make commuting easier
- Regionally-grown and produced foods and beverages
- LED lighting or other efficiency improvements
- Durable, locally-crafted items that replace disposable mass-produced ones
- Trip to a museum, amusement park, sports event, bowling, theater...
- An outdoor adventure
- An outdoors skills course
- Many of the class ideas offered below
Among many to consider are: cooking, brewing, dance, pet training, computer skills, sports/fitness, foreign language, musical instrument, pottery, knitting, painting and other arts, outdoor skills, first aid, massage, photography or video production, writing.
One reader wrote us to say, "My brother is a music promoter and I donated 5 hours to help him improve his website...gifts of expertise are especially useful to people who work for themselves." We welcome your suggested additions and stories!
© 2012 AMIBA. Published December, 2010. Last updated November 17, 2012.