The Holidays are Coming are You Ready to Save?

Holiday Go Green -N- Save LogoThe holidays are fast approaching, are you prepared? I’m not. I am notorious for procrastination on everything I need to do in my personal life. This year will be different though…

I have decided to make a green effort this year, and save some money while I’m at it. This will take more time than I customarily spend purchasing gifts, so I can find that “perfect” gift in a greener way.

Here are some of my ideas

  • eBay – Everything (used of course)
  • Second Hand Stores – furniture, materials, toys, unique gifts, tree
  • Pawn Shops – jewelry, electronics, music, games
  • Home Made –  picture frames, furniture (only attempt furniture if you’re handy.
  • Creative – cards, take pictures, make movies

eBay has a great selection of barely used items. Some of the things I’m looking at are electronics and cell phones. There are people in my life who would be ecstatic to get an almost new middle of the road Blackberry or a used PS3. (We are a simple folk) By buying used from eBay we keep unwanted stuff from going in the landfill and keep the original manufacturers from making new stuff when there is plenty already on the market. (They also have an eco and fairtrade section)

Second hand stores are great too. Just in Fort Myers, FL there are 1,617. They carry toys, books, televisions, furniture, games, clothes, and much more. Just look closely at what you are purchasing to make sure there are no defects or issues with it. You will have to spend more time searching the store for what you are looking for than you would in a retail store, but it’s better for the environment. Most second hand stores are also tied to charities so you’ll be doing three good deeds at once! Want to see whats out there? Check out Miss Mustard Seed’s Favorite Finds

Pawn Shops are no longer the seedy place downtown (ok well there are those too). There are many pawn shops now that look like jewelry stores when you go inside. They have the same jewelry that the mall store has for as little as 25% of the price. My favorite in Fort Myers is Gulf Coast Jewelry and Loan. They are a top notch facility and they do great repairs too.  Some of the other things you can get at pawn shops are instruments, guns, and video game systems.

Picture frames are pretty simple to make, and bookcases aren’t too bad either. Just make sure you have everything you need when you start, it can be maddening to go to the store for nails three times.

I never realized the impact something simple and creative (free even) could have until my mother’s birthday this year. I was told not to spend any money on her. It’s against my grain to not get her anything for her birthday, so I made her a movie. I grabbed windows movie maker (1st time I ever opened the program), took a bunch of childhood photo’s, and a touching song and made a movie. She loved it. She cried, I cried, my aunt cried. It was really neat for both of us, and because I sent it to her on Facebook she was able to easily share it with her friends.

What is on your go green holiday list? Anyplace I missed? What do you think?

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