…with Guest Blogger, Lauryn Blakesley
Being conscious of how we can live our lives in a more sustainable manner is something that can and should be done year round. Each and every day, I discover new ways that I can continue to work toward the goal of sustainable living. This year my family is focusing on conscious gift giving. Each and every gift that we give will have a greater purpose. Whether it is to support the local farmer or cheese-maker out there, to support fair trade by investing in a company that does it right, or to purchase eco-friendly and sustainable products, giving consciously is a top priority for spreading the word about the importance of sustainability and following that practice ourselves.
When it comes to giving consciously, there are no shortage of options out there and Kimberton Whole Foods can be a go-to place for shopping for these products. Throughout the year, I have been keeping a list of products and themes that are important to me. As I come across a product that fits the bill, I write it down along with the name of someone that it would make a good gift for. This has helped me not only remain organized, but also introduce me to some of the brands that believe in the same principles that I do.
Here are some of the products that are at the top of my list this year:
1. Giving locally produced goods means giving quality products that bind you with your community through contributing to the lives of your neighbors and supporting the local economy.
One thing I always try to have in mind is a good hostess gift! Everyone goes to a holiday gathering of some sort. Pick your favorite local cheese, pair it with a cheese knife set or a nice cheese board and you are ready to go. One of my favorite local cheeses is by Birchrun Hill Farms. In particular I love their Blue Cheese! This gift is a great way to bring something other than the traditional bottle of wine, and I guarantee it will spark a conversation about everyone’s favorite local cheeses. What a nice surprise it will be!
For the sensual person on your list, make sure to check out Christina Maser’s line of products. She makes unique and wonderful smelling candles and body lotions. They’re made from all natural ingredients and packaged in recyclable containers right in our backyard (Lancaster, PA). Christina also has a line of amazing preserves that may be hitting Kimberton shelves in the near future, so be sure to stay on the lookout for them! These products would make the perfect Teacher’s Gift or for a special woman in your life (or man of course – who doesn’t love an aromatic gift?).
2. Buying fair trade items encourages sustainability and supports community building in developing countries while ensuring safe working conditions.
As a knitter I am drawn to and appreciate the comfort of nice, handmade woolen gear. It is something that you just can’t replicate with a machine. Andes Gifts is an organization dedicated to creating a real economic impact in the lives of their knitters. They work in a comfortable environment and receive a fair price for the goods that they create. And these goods…oh, these gorgeous (and cozy) items! They make the perfect gift for anyone that appreciates the comfort that a pair of handmade mittens, gloves, socks or slippers can provide. Honestly, just about anyone!
3. Purchasing recycled and recyclable goods takes an additional step toward creating a more sustainable environment for future generations.
We all have kiddos on our gift lists, how about introducing yourself to Green Toys (if you haven’t already seen or heard of them)? This company is built on the principle that all of their toys are made out of 100% recycled, environmentally friendly material. In many cases, their toys are made from recycled milk jugs! These toys take you back to the day when life was more simpler, and every toy didn’t need an animated sound to go with it. Play is, and can be imaginative and safe with Green Toys.
With conscious gift giving in mind, make sure that you take the time to explain to the recipient why this is important when you give the gift. Sometimes products will have a brochure or a blurb about this on their product, but if there isn’t, create one. You can do this in a subtle way like using an over-sized gift tag. By introducing another person to a company, brand, or product that does it right, you are helping to spread the word and making the world a little greener.
Be proud this season to give consciously. You are doing the world a whole lot of good!
Lauryn Blakesley is a mom to three lively children, one creative husband, and the blogger behind The Vintage Mom (www.thevintagemom.com). Aside from her most important role as a supermom, Lauryn thrives on creating community and spreading the “gospel of local living.” She’s passionate about fresh food and often can’t wait to get into the kitchen to experiment with healthy ingredients and developing her little ones’ tastes. She works as a nurse, a social media consultant, and an advocate for fresh, local food. A lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and fresh, local food. She spends her days in awe of her family and trying to teach her three to treat others as they would want to be treated.