The holiday season is in full swing, and many of us are rushing to cramped malls and megastores to find the perfect gift for our loved ones. This holiday season, why not shop locally? There are many small, independent merchants all around our province, as well as lovely Farmers’ Markets where you can find locally-made, one-of-a-kind products.
For those living in the Truro area, the Truro Farmers’ Market is a great spot to pick up festive baked goods, hand-made crafts, unique art, and so much more. For those in New Glasgow, at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market, you can find knitted gifts, hand-painted signs, homemade soaps, jams and jellies, baked goods, coffee and more! They are also having many Christmas Markets between now and Christmas Day.
When we shop locally we are supporting small family-owned businesses. As the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market states on a poster, “You keep more money in our local economy. You celebrate the uniqueness of our community. You support local jobs. You help the environment. You make our community a destination. An actual person does a little happy dance. You encourage someone to keep going.” A sign at the Truro Farmers’ Market explains with a simple story, “When you buy from a small business, you’re not helping a CEO buy his third holiday home, you are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a family put food on the table.” Shopping locally, whether from farmers’ markets or locally owned businesses, helps to build stronger, greener communities across our beautiful Maritime region.
The New Glasgow Farmers’ Market recently received the 2017 Leadership in Business Award, awarded by the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce. The Leadership in Business Award is presented to a model leader in their business sector who makes a significant contribution to a stable local economy. Providing a venue for locals to buy and sell local products continues to be beneficial to all those involved.
For those hard-to-buy-for people on your list, or for something fun and meaningful, consider giving the Gift of Time. Spending quality time with loved ones is often what we need and want most. Check out this insightful video by Ikea that depicts what children really want for Christmas. Imagine these gifts: A walk or hike together in the woods or seaside, a snowshoeing day, skating outside, baking cookies together, volunteering with a local food bank or animal shelter, making gifts or crafts together. These are just a few ideas of what we can do with our loved ones this holiday season and would mean much more than the latest toy which will be soon forgotten. This holiday season is all about cherishing peace and joy while making memories together.
If you want to make this a greener holiday season, try reducing your waste! Simple efforts such as reusing gift bags, or making your own repurposed wrapping paper, can reduce your ecological footprint. Reimagine the purpose and ultimate destination of single-use items, and start by reusing materials in lieu of purchasing new materials. New items have an additional cost, may not be recyclable, and also require energy, water, and other resources during fabrication and transportation. For some more ideas, check out Green Schools Nova Scotia’s Holiday WasteLess SlideShow, and the Green Holidays Pinterest Page.
You can also save energy this holiday season by opting for LED lights. Many students with Green Schools NS have tested LED lights and incandescent holiday lights using an energy meter. LED lights consume a fraction of the energy used by incandescent lights, which means you can save energy and money this holiday season. Efficiency Nova Scotia has added holiday lights their Product Installation Service until December 15th, 2017: You can exchange two strands of incandescent holiday lights for a brand new strand of LED lights. Give them a call at 1-877-999-6035 for more information. Stay green and merry this holiday season!