by Nui Cobalt
Many of us struggle to find a meaningful way to participate and help reduce the ... well, corporate-ness of the holiday season. How can we manage to remain socially responsible and stay within our integrity without having to bah-humbug our way through the whole winter? Here are three simple and effective steps that anyone can take to ensure a jolly and economically sound Yuletide.
1) Promote and endorse your favorite independent business.
Most of the artisans and craftspeople you love are very much reliant upon word-of-mouth advertising. They don't have a marketing department with an enormous budget like the mall juggernauts do. What they have are happy customers who are willing to tell their friends about their experience. They have YOU. So, speak up and be heard! Post and repost your reviews. Yelp and tweet. Browse Etsy. And, of course, shop small, independent businesses to your heart's content. Do what you can to boost the signal and keep these beloved pioneers afloat.
2) Consider the source.
If you have a very specific gift in mind and nothing else will do, take a moment to consider your options for how and where to get it. Does it have to come from a large corporate entity? What causes and political principles does that entity endorse? Buycott can be mighty helpful in answering questions like these. How do they treat their employees? Can the gift be acquired through more sustainable means? Is there a local independent merchant who carries or can get the item for you? With just a few minutes of research, thought and planning, you can greatly influence the flow of commerce and steer it in a more positive direction. Seriously, if you and everyone you know opted for Conscious over Convenient, just imagine how differently our money would be distributed ...
3) Get creative.
Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, there are innumerable ways to innovate and breathe new life into gifting. Think outside the wrapping. What does your loved one really need, right now? Recall conversations where his eyes lit up or the tone of her voice became buoyant. Find an unconventional way to express your support for those passions. You may decide to forgo giving a physical object at all. Instead, you may discover a college extension course to nurture their interests, a museum exhibition or live performance to inspire them. Often times, good things come in no packages at all.
So, think before you pull out your wallet. Your well-earned cash can be put to better use than feeding corporate bloat. Let that big, beautiful brain of yours navigate away from stale, conventional giving and into a season that truly sparkles. We at Nui Cobalt Designs wish you a joyful, healthy holiday and encourage you to make it so!
Share this post
- Tags: Musings