Holiday season shopping "officially" launches the day after Thanksgiving -- at an ever-earlier hour. This day has been nicknamed "Black Friday" as it is the date when retailers hope their bottom line will turn from red ink to black.
The color of the U.S. dollars we use to buy holiday gifts is green. But typical shopping behavior -- driving miles out of town to big-box stores and purchasing stuff cheaply manufactured 6,000 miles away -- is not at all green.
Can we think greener when shopping for gifts this holiday season? Absolutely:
- How about walking or cycling to local stores, instead of sitting in a line of traffic and fighting for that last parking space at a distant mall?
- Consider buying goods made by local artisans, for example, at crafts fairs or farmers markets (the Princeton Farmers’ Market continues throughout the winter in the Public Library’s Community Room).
- Why not give a special experience from a local provider?
Here in Princeton, we have so many great stores that it's hard to think of a gift category that's missing. And all within distances you can walk or cycle to, carrying re-usable bags! Try the Hometown Princeton, Palmer Square, and Princeton Shopping Center websites for lists of local stores and shopping events.
And that's just the local stuff... then there are the local services, whose providers will be happy to sell you gift certificates for special or fun experiences. Here is just a partial listing of ideas:
- Gift certificates to a local eatery (maybe an obvious idea, but always appreciated!),
- How about a certificate toward the services of one of the Princeton hair salons, barbers, or massage therapists?
- Someone on your list could try something new at a pre-paid class in art or dance, or enjoy a local theater or musical event.
- Our local papers list intriguing services, such as home organization (one I’ve always wanted to try... Hope my hubby is reading this!)
So, let's start a new tradition of launching our holiday commerce on "Green Friday" in Princeton, when we skip the driving, and shop as locally as possible, keeping our greenbacks here, to support our community.