Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eco-Shop 'Til You Drop

Yes, I made my first holiday-related purchase this weekend - stocking stuffers for friends, and yes they are eco-friendly.

We all want to avoid needless consumerism (what better way to be green than to buy less stuff?). Even so, I LOVE giving gifts. I want to give things that I can feel good about and that I know friends will like. I also like to save money

I know lots of people who are big fans of the proliferation of sales and coupon subscription sites. Some, like Groupon, allow you to buy what are basically gift certificates at a reduced price. Others, like MyHabit, offer special sales on limited-edition items.

As these sites grow in popularity, eco-friendly versions are springing up.

LovingEco ("Style for Change") offers daily deals on a variety of eco-items - they have a key indicating whether goods are organic, recycled, vegan, etc. They have a limited number of deals each day, but it's sort of refreshing that it's not overwhelming. Deals tend to focus on beauty products and jewelry.
Open Sky has curated collections of sale items. While they aren't all eco, you can subscribe to certain curators and some of them are focused on eco-friendly products. Alicia Silverstone (author of The Kind Diet) and Sophie Uliano (author of Gorgeously Green) both curate collections of beauty, home, and food products with a green slant.

Uncommon Goods is an old-school e-tailer - no gimmicks, no sales, no coupons. You just buy stuff. But they have lots of handmade and recycled goods, as well as special artist lines. Did you want mittens made from re-purposed sweaters? Uncommon Goods has them. Recycled wedding rings? Yep, they've got those too.

Ten Thousand Villages is also a traditional e-tailer. Well - not that traditional, because their goods are all fair trade. They have lots of cool jewelry, household items made from recycled materials, and around the holidays they have amazing ornaments. I especially love the one pictured above - it's an olive wood Nativity scene carved in the West Bank. Mine is the centerpiece of my tiny tree.

Do you have a favorite green-tailer?

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