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Steps to let gift-giving  invest in community

To the editor:

I noticed with interest coverage of the “10 Tips for Jolly Holiday Shopping.” I thought I’d offer an alternative, so here’s my “10 Tips for Green, Local and Charitable Shopping.”

1. Shop at locally owned stores rather than box stores. Keep those dollars you spend in the community.

2. Buy gifts made of sustainable products, such as bamboo, rather than plastics.

3. Look for presents made of pesticide-free materials, such as organic cotton.

4. Give gently used or vintage gifts and books you can find at church bazaars.

5. Send delicious locally made foods such as jams, jellies and relishes, which you find at winter markets and fairs, to give relatives a taste of summer in the Pioneer Valley this winter.

6. Honor your family and friends with a gift in their name to a deserving charity that is local or especially dear to your heart, and then include a locally made ornament in their gift card.

7. Celebrate local artisans with a gift to your loved ones of a handmade hat, bowl, necklace, photograph or painting.

8. Carpool to shop — join a few friends, reduce your carbon footprint and make it a special day of shopping locally together, stopping for lunch or tea at a lovely restaurant.

9. Check out local museum shops — there are wonderfully unique items at these stores.

10. And consider this: According to MSNBC, if everyone in America bought at least $67 in USA-made gifts it would create 200,000 jobs. And if you spend carefully, many of those could be local jobs.

Lucy Robinson


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