I'm a little bit bah humbuggy about holiday gifts these days. In this tight economy, the whole Black Friday/Cyber Monday mad rush of consumerism makes me angry. Which is why I'm making most of my holiday gifts this year, or buying locally when I can. But there are things that I cannot buy locally or make myself (I sadly cannot write wii code), so I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite holiday shopping sources that give back.
Amazon, via Monarch Watch: Monarch Watch is one of my favorite organizations. Their mission: to provide the public with information about the biology of monarch butterflies, their spectacular migration, and how to use monarchs to further science education in primary and secondary schools. They are concerned with the loss of monarch habitat and establishing backyard waystations along migration routes. Over the years their funding has dropped, but, in addition to purchasing items at their annual plant sales (I have for years) and via their shop, you can also support them with every amazon.com purchase, if you link through their amazon portal. Scroll down and click. So easy. And so appreciated.
Montessori Services: For the little people in your life, you can't beat gifts from Montessori Services or their sister site, For Small Hands. We have ordered so many things from them over the years from drinking glasses and vegetable choppers that we still use every day to woodworking tools to gardening tools, their products are well made and sized perfectly for the tiny hands that just want to help out. And this time of year, if you specify your local Montessori school,* the school will earn credit for free materials.
The Greater Good Network Stores: Choose your cause, from the Rainforest to Breast Cancer to Child Health to Veterans. buying through the Greater Good Network helps two-fold. First, you are helping the cause that you link through, by providing mammograms or immunizations or purchasing land to be preserved. Second, you are helping artists and craftspeople around the world, many of them women, support themselves and their families through their trade. There are countless beautiful, unique, handmade items to choose from for the home, the garden, or to wear.
I've got five minutes left today - so Happy Cyber Monday. I hope your shopping dollars do a little giving back.
*If you don't have a local school, I suggest Raintree Montessori in Lawrence, Kansas, or Rainbow Bridge Montessori School in Cotati, California.