Today’s Solutions: January 29, 2023

Making sure your practices align with your values can be tricky all year round, but this is especially true during the holiday season. Here are six great ways to make a positive impact while going about your festivities this year.

Support indie bookshops

Even though bookshops have experienced a revival in recent years, independent bookstores have still been struck down hard by the pandemic. If you live in the US and want to support local bookstores this holiday season but don’t know where to look, search on the Indie Bound website to find one near you.

Buy toys that don’t cost the Earth

If you want to make the children in your life smile with a gift, then toys are an obvious choice. What’s not as obvious? Where to purchase toys that aren’t made of plastic or shipped from far-off places. To start you on the right path, we recommend Green Toys which offers playthings that are made in the US out of recycled materials, or Plan Toys a company that puts sustainability and child development at the forefront of their practices.

Slip into something more sustainable

The most eco-friendly approach to style is to dress in clothes you already own, but if you must shop, choose to buy “better” instead. For instance, ask yourself if it’s possible to find a high-quality vintage item to give as a present, and challenge yourself to look for labels that protect the rights of garment workers, prioritize organic, natural fibers, and avoid using any materials that test on animals.

Avoid conflict minerals in tech

Low salaries, tax dodging, and the use of conflict minerals have all earned the tech industry a poor reputation. So, before you buy devices new, consider buying something used or refurbished. If you must give a brand new gadget, check out Ethical Consumer’s ethical grading system first. Fairphone, a firm that sells ethical and repairable phones, is also a good place to start, as it is dedicated to meeting the growing consumer demand for products that have longer lifespans and lower environmental impacts.

Savor local flavors

Are you from a family that loves food? Treat your loved ones to something from an ethical food brand like cult favorites Clif Bar and Company or Nature’s Path. Consider filling stockings with homemade jam, palm oil-free cookies, or other organic and responsibly supplied foods from local, small-scale farmers. Furthermore, why not challenge your family to a vegetarian or vegan day or week this holiday season?

Use a planet-positive search engine

If searching for the perfect gift online, try the not-for-profit Ecosia search engine. Reforestation initiatives in nations like Brazil and Indonesia are supported by 80 percent of this search engine’s advertising revenue. On top of that, they won’t sell your data, keep a record of the sites you visit, or save the searches you make.

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