I try to ignore the big “shopping weekend” right after a day of thanks, but some years I do better than others. This year I spent my weekend sleeping in and binge watching Netflix for so long that I almost forgot about it all together! Actually… by forgot I mean that I even forgot to post a sale of my own on Etsy! But a day I really don’t like to miss? Giving Tuesday!
According to the website, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.” To me, this is a great way to show some extra thanks and give back after a truly gluttonous week. Giving Tuesday is a way for me to get back to what’s important, and between community events and companies with a mission to give, there are a countless number of ways to get involved.
If you’re anything like me, you’re still knee-deep in holiday shopping. I have a small pile of random items that haven’t been wrapped yet, but beyond that, I still have a lot of work to do. I just don’t feel like shopping this year- wait let me rephrase that- I don’t feel like going to the mall down here. The closest mall to me is HUGE and awesome, but also super crowded and not so much fun when you have a list to get through. It’s perfect for wandering around, but the idea of going there for Christmas shopping gives me hives.
So with that in mind, I turn to online shopping. And what better way to online shop than by working with companies with positive missions! It makes me feel a little bit better about the money I’m spending. Here are some of my favorite last minute (but still thoughtful) gift ideas:
For your BFF through thick and thin
The last time we talked about FashionAble they only had scarves. Today they have beautiful, buttery leather goods and jewelry to match! They’ve also expanded the women they work with across the globe, offering skills to women overcoming particularly difficult life challenges including addiction, trafficking, and a lack of opportunity. My favorite item is the bucket bag and I’m going to go out on a limb and say your best friend needs one. *Order by 12/18 to receive before Christmas
For your sister (or brother) on the move
We all want to travel the world, Serengetee lets you keep that goal in mind at all times while supporting global artisans and causes. Pick a city or print that you think will resonate the most with your sibling and get them a great baseball tee, or makeup case, or headband, or v-neck, or sweatshirt, or backpack or a hat….
*Order today 12/15 for a Christmas delivery
**30% off your order using the code LASTCALL
For your brother (or sister) with stinky shoes Listen- we’re not all perfect- but you can help your favorite sibling get a little closer with a new pair of socks from Bombas – a company that donates a pair of socks for every pair sold. *Buy today 12/15 for standard shipping by Christmas Eve!
For your mom that’s always on trend My mom taught me the value in simple jewelry. It matches everything, can be dressed up or down, and never goes out of style. I love these options from The Good Trade and a portion of all proceeds is donated to child victims of sex slavery.
For your caffeine drinking, dog loving dad
Is my dad the only dad that mentions something once and then goes to buy it for himself? My mom is the queen at leaving hints for gifts, but my dad? No way. If he wants something, he buys it. So I’ll just supply a socially aware morning coffee instead. Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co. sells 100% fair trade coffee and donates 20% of all proceeds to dog rescue organizations around the states.
For your favorite weekend getaway partner
When Dean and I go away I have a few different bags to choose from and Dean has exactly two: his gym bag or an old backpack. Give your guy an upgrade with a beautiful leather weekend bag offering community support in Ethiopia from Parker Clay.
I’m constantly on the hunt for fun and quirky little things for around the house. This is probably why my home is cluttered and I regularly spend too much money at Marshalls. But it’s just so easy to do! Every time I stop in I find new kitchen gadgets, decor options, and fun gifts to hold onto for special occasions. So when I realized that Uncommongoods.com is basically a great company with strong do-good values that sells the kind of items I regularly buy, I knew my wallet stood no chance.
Tom from Uncommon Goods sent over some details describing the organization as a “small company focusing on big ideas”. They are a sustainable, privately own business that focuses on helping and supporting people. In fact, the more I read about the company, the more impressed I am. Their mission empowers everyone they work with by promising fair wages (the lowest paid seasonal worker is making 50% more than minimum wage!) and reaching out to work with various artists and designers (50% of their goods are handmade!).
I just about fell over when I started searching through their products. I mean, who wouldn’t want to buy something for the men in their life from this list? And when my friend Amy’s birthday came up, I actually got us little giraffe bud vases I found here. Tom was also nice enough to send over a little bit of home for Dean and I through this PA shaped cheese plate, but I also love all of the personal art options I found on this gift page.
After reading more about the company values, I reached back out to Tom to let him know about how strongly I also feel about doing good and sustainability and he said that their CEO even rides his bike to work every day! This company truly strives to make the world a better place, and this is something I’m always excited to share. Now just try not to spend all of your money in one sitting.
PS- see that picture of Dean and I up on top of the bookcase? That frame is from this post from all the way back in 2012!
I feel like most people today are very “all or nothing”. Every day we hear these drastic decisions that we should be making to live a better life: drive a hybrid, go vegan, grow your own veggies, only shop handmade…. we aren’t just doing what we can- we feel like we have to do everything or do nothing.
While it would be wonderful to be able to do everything, these drastic decisions just aren’t always feasible for everyone- at least not for me. I’m totally one of these inbetween-ers. I want to be more socially and economically aware! I want to be waste-free! I want to swear by handmade and locally grown food sources! But I also know that I can’t be everything.
This is why I originally started my Doing Good posts. I wanted to spread the word about companies making good decisions that might fit into your everyday life. Being eco-friendly is something we can also do in small ways: everything makes a difference after all! Here are three easy ways you can make some easy green changes.
Learn how to recycle – This probably seems obvious, but I watch a ton of people recycle incorrectly every day. For example, did you know that while you should recycle water bottles you should NOT recycle the tops? Or how about the fact that you should recycle cardboard but NOT greasy pizza boxes? And I always think this is weird, but you actually CAN leave staples on that paperwork you’re about to throw in the recycling bin! Things can get a little confusing so make sure you take a minute to educate yourself and recycle correctly.
Bring your own bags to the grocery store– As you probably already know, plastic is terrible for the environment but we all use it without thinking. While it may seem impossible to swear it off completely a la Trash is for Tossers, a simple change could be giving up on plastic bags. Pick yourself up a few super cute reusable bags and leave them in your car. Time to run to the store? Grab them from your trunk and get on with your environmentally-friendly self! (Bonus: Have a ton of plastic bags sitting around? Return them!)
Give up on plastic containers– So now that we want to lower our plastic usage, we probably want to find some glass containers to use instead of the traditional tupperware we all have. I asked for a Pyrex set for Christmas one year and it has to be one of my most used gifts to date (thanks Dean’s mom!). I love that I can cook in it, throw it in the fridge (or freezer) and then pop it in the microwave if I wanted to. They’re easy to clean, plus it’s so weirdly satisfying to eat my lunch out of glass containers! (Bonus- this is a great excuse for a mason jar salad #sopinterest)
Bike/walk where you can– Take a pledge to stay out of your car when you’re going a short distance. Bike the half mile to the corner store. Walk to visit a friend a few blocks away. Take a little stroll to the deli for your coffee fix. Heading a little farther away? Hop on the bus or plan a carpool with a co-worker. You’ll be saving on gas and reducing your carbon footprint!
Unplug- Literally! – Did you know that every item you have plugged in is still pulling electricity? When you’re done with an electronic device, switch it to the off position and unplug it. I’m going to be real with you- unplugging everything is a pain. The easiest way to combat this is to plug all of your items into a surge protector and just flip a single switch instead of unplugging a bunch of wires! Done watching that movie? Turn the TV off, flip your switch and walk away as a pro-energy conservationist.
(Bonus-You’re also saving money on your electric bill
PS- Make the produce bag you see above with a t-shirt via Delia Creates!
If you’ve been around for a while then you know how much I appreciate a company that’s looking to do good in the world. I feel like we spend a lot of money every day and the bottom line is that I hope that some of my money is doing something good. This is why I prefer to work with companies with positive and thoughtful mission statements like Purpose Jewelry.
The quick story is that Purpose Jewelry was created to help teach women in need a skill and provide them with a job. The long version is that the jewelry company stems from a bigger organization: International Sanctuary.
iSanctuary is an international organization working to provide holistic care to sex trafficking survivors. Their mission is focused around a holistic approach to assist women with the reintegration process by addressing a wide range of needs and providing dignity and hope. Women in this program have access to medical professionals, counselors, and educators. They could receive scholarships for college, micro-loans to help them learn financial skills, and finally, employment.
As explained on their website, “Survivors at iSanctuary’s center in Mumbai, India are taught artisan jewelry skills. All jewelry is prepared, packaged, and shipped by survivors rescued in Orange County, California. Purchasing with Purpose empowers these young women as they play a critical role in every step of the process, from handcrafting the jewelry to shipping your purchase. 100% of proceeds benefits the survivors.”
So the big question is which pieces will you be buying?