As we head into the holiday season, keep in mind that each hard-earned dollar you spend is a chance to cast your ballot for supporting local, sustainable businesses. So, whether you’re shopping for food to put on the table or gifts under the tree, why not vote to help Boston be a more environmentally and economically sustainable city? Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping this holiday season:

Buy local

When you spend your money at a locally-owned, independent business, you can bet that those dollars are going to stay within and support the community. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, independent businesses recirculate a much greater percentage of revenue locally compared to chain-stores.

Now that you plan on buying local this holiday season, take on the Mayor’s Holiday Challenge! This Saturday, November 29th is Small Business Saturday and to celebrate, Mayor Marty Walsh is challenging holiday shoppers to purchase at least five of their holiday gifts in Boston’s Main Streets districts. Challenge your friends and family to do the same by posting photos of their gifts on Twitter​ and Facebook with #5onMain. Let’s use the power of our dollars to keep Boston’s local economy thriving this holiday season!

Quality over quantity

This is a simple idea, but an important one. The more stuff you buy, the more stuff you have. And the more stuff you have, the more waste you create. According to The Story of Stuff, “if everyone consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets.” Since we’ve only got one planet to survive on, stick to a quality over quantity shopping philosophy. Some companies are starting to adhere by these principals by actually limiting the growth of their businessfor the purpose of better serving the environment.

Give the gift of an experience

While that trendy new jacket or bag may reward you in style and happiness for a year–maybe two–a great experience lasts forever. So support local theaters, artists, restaurants or even your favorite sports team by buying tickets or a gift certificate. Or why not expand your horizons by taking a cooking or yoga class together? There are lots of experiences you can give that will not only create memories, but may turn into a fun tradition!

Budget to Give Back

Tis’ the season for giving. And what better way to give than to those in need? The holidays can be a stressful time for many, but even more stressful for those less fortunate. Budget some of your holiday spending to give to a local charity,toy drive, winter jacket drive, or food drive. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post for more opportunities you can give back to your community this holiday season.

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