Anyone else regularly think about not wanting to give billionaires more money? With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, I wanted to offer some options for places to feel good about shopping. Big box stores may seem convenient and affordable, but independent stores can be too!
Break up With Amazon this Christmas
I can understand the desire for Amazon‘s convenience when shopping and I’m not judging if you make some purchases from there, but there are so many reasons to look at spending your money elsewhere.
We talk about small businesses often because small businesses directly help support our communities. There’s also the fact that our dollars spent at small businesses go directly to people in our communities instead of billionaires in other parts of the world. What’s that saying? “When you shop at a small business, a literal person does a happy dance.” Let’s make happy dances happen this holiday season!
We’ve talked about this in more detail in our post: 6 Reasons Why to Support Small and Local Businesses.
Places to Feel Good About Shopping
If you’re looking to break up with Amazon this Christmas, here are some small businesses and ideas for places to feel good about shopping with.
1. Scoria World
I fell in love with Scoria when I searched for a sustainable yoga mat. Scoria has a wide range of beautiful cork yoga mats, yoga props, meditation cushions, and even apparel (this “Stay Weird and Be Kind” sweatshirt is my fave!).
There are tons of options to choose from in this sustainable Canadian small business. With each purchase, Scoria regularly gives back too. Their current giving partner is Right to Play, which supports life-skills and healthy living education for Indigenous youth in Canada.
Shop here: Scoria World
Don’t forget to use our discount code! Get 10% off with: SIMPLELIFE10
2. Your Local Refillery
A local refillery might not be your first thought for a gift, but there are great treasures to be found! One of our favourite local refilleries has been Jarr Delivery. They have amazing, fun treats like Rootable Chips.
Refilleries can have unpackaged or sustainably packaged gift items like shampoo bars or cleaning kits. Some shops will allow you to take your own containers to fill, which gives a unique opportunity for a creative gift.
Refill shops have a huge positive impact on our planet by reducing the waste produced from all the products we use.
Some Lower Mainland Refill Shops:
3. West Coast Seeds
Whether you know a seasoned gardener like Krista, or a newbie gardener like me, West Coast Seeds is a great place to look for practical and thoughtful gifts that can keep on giving.
West Coast Seeds is a Vancouver-based, family-owned company that supports organic and sustainable gardening. I love the idea of giving seeds meant to be planted for the specific season you are gifting. That way the receiver can plant the gift when received and see the gift growing at a later date.
Shop here: West Coast Seeds
4. Shop Without Plastic (SWOP)
Shopping small is one important consideration when buying gifts and shopping sustainably is another. SWOP is a new online shop based in Ontario, Canada that focuses on reducing our reliance on plastic by helping us “swop” out single-use plastic products.
Not only do purchases from SWOP help reduce plastic, but each purchase helps support the planting of mangrove trees in Madagascar.
Shop Here: SWOP
Don’t forget to use our discount code! Save on your purchase with : SUSTAINABLYSIMPLE2022
5. Independent or Used Bookstores
Small, independent bookstores are truly community gems. I love seeing small bookstores combine used and new books together as well as local and best sellers.
Western Sky Books is a new and used bookstore (and art gallery!) in Port Coquitlam, BC. I discovered them about four years ago and it quickly became one of my favourite places. I love how they support their local community with local author events and various fundraisers. And their book selection is fantastic!
Shop here: Western Sky Books
Iron Dog Books is an Indigenous owned bookshop and book truck in Vancouver, BC. This shop is a newer discovery for me, but I can totally see why this is a beloved Vancouver shop. They have an amazing selection of new and used books as well as some unique gifts.
Here is part of their origin story:
“We were students and readers which meant that books were essential to our lives, but as Indigenous people we rarely saw ourselves reflected in the shops we visited. More often than not we struggled to source books we needed, or to convince the folks around us that Indigenous stories were important to the literary canon. Our experiences taught us that if we wanted our dream bookstore to exist, we would have to build it ourselves.”Iron Dog Books, About Us
Shop here: Iron Dog Books
6. Green Geeks
Do you know a blogger or someone thinking of starting a website for their business? Why not give a unique present and gift sustainable web hosting. Krista and I switched from Bluehost after our first year and haven’t looked back! Green Geeks has been super helpful for us whenever we’ve had questions and we’re really enjoyed hosting our site with them.
Our technology choices have an impact on the planet, so green hosting is a simple way to reduce your footprint.
Shop here: Green Geeks
Other Sustainable Gift Ideas
If you’re looking for even more sustainable gift ideas, we have a couple of gift guides that include some great budget-friendly (and earth friendly) ideas.
Check out our gift guide for kids: 12 Fun and Budget Friendly Gift Ideas for Kids
Check out our ultimate gift guide: Your Ultimate Sustainable Gift Guide for the Holidays
Sustainable Gift Wrapping
While we’re thinking about doing things a little differently for our gifts, don’t forget about the gift wrap! Check out our Plastic Free Gift Wrap post for ideas on how to wrap your presents waste free.