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  • December 2011
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Shop Responsibly This Season – Buy Local, Buy Handmade!

Thanks to Michael for the post about the history of Black Friday, and the movements that oppose it.  I, myself, practice Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday, however I’m not as radical as some.  For example, take activist Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.  Reverend Billy’s team of activists battle consumer culture and the fact that now, for many, consumerism is the point of the holiday season, and he has worked tirelessly against this “shopocalypse,” for 14 years.  Below you can see him perform a credit card exorcism.

While his mission makes sense to me, I still do like to give gifts for the holidays.  How do I accomplish this and still maintain my beliefs in sustainable shopping practices?

I buy local. I buy handmade.  I don’t only do so on Small Business Saturday – the day after Black Friday – but all year long.  I also *try* to be crafty myself.  While it doesn’t always turn out so great, like the 1/2 knitted baby blanket that was supposed to be for my niece’s 1st birthday (we just celebrated her 2nd) or the cookie batter I made a few years ago that was supposed to yield 2 dozen, yet only yielded 6 (and tasted quite funky), I still have a really good time in the attempts.

(Image courtesy of ningmilo)

If you’re interested in following suit, here are some resources to justify your choice, and to help you find your way to shopping responsibly this holiday season!

Check out this ABC article on gift ideas for items made in America.


Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers By Melissa Quart

This book will prove to you the that there is more to participating in this world than to “turn oneself into a corporate product”.




The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back By Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen

It all started when a 15 year old teen was struck by the image of a homeless man standing by a Mercedes coupe.  It continued when her family decided to sell their mansion, move to a house 1/2 as big, and donate 1/2 the profit to a charity.  Inspiration will surely follow, if you check this book out.



Etsy is a community of artists and those who love their work and are able to support it.  You can purchase most anything here – from handcrafted wallets to greeting cards to teddy bears.


Visit the I Made it Market’s Nomadic Indie Crafts Marketplace events this month to find the perfect handcrafted gift for that special someone!




To get crafty yourself, take a look back at some of these blog posts – or check out the craft section at the library!


Toys!

Artsy Shoes!

Altoid Tin Speakers!

Altered Books!

-LeeAnn Anna

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