Thinking

A Sustainable Christmas – Supporting your local economy

Matthew Parnell - Monday, November 29, 2010

Coffs Harbour NSW CBDThis has been doing the rounds of the internet. I think it has an American source. However, its obviously been changed to suit Australia. I’ve edited it a bit more. It has some interesting ideas worth pursuing to further local sustainability. Read on:

As the Christmas holidays approach, the giant factories are kicking into high gear to provide Australians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods.

This year will be different. This year Australians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Australians.

So here are suggestions for great gifts that support the local economy:

Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small owned detail shops & car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

For the Gardeners on your list – how about some lovely healthy pot plants or plants for the garden or even a gift certificate from the local lawnmowing person.

Are you one of those extravagant givers? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. If your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local cafe. Remember, folks isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your local community with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a local garage?

What about a gift certificate from a local home handyperson for some chores to be done around the home?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mum? Mum would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

Someone’s computer could use a tune-up, so find some young computer wizard who is struggling to get his repair business up & running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool & knit them into scarves. They make jewellery, & pottery & beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. How about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

If you have money to burn, leave the postman, garbo or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Australian pockets for cheap junk with a short life before ending up on the tip. Christmas is now about caring about Australia, encouraging our small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. When we care about other Australians, we care about our communities, & the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

THIS is the new Australian Christmas tradition. This is a revolution of caring about each other and growing sustainability.

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About Dr. Matthew Parnell - With a built environment background, Dr. Parnell's specialty is buildings and their environmental impacts. Greensynergy Consulting is also active in bringing about change by developing the capacity of people, communities and organizations to adopt sustainable practices and develop strong sustainability cultures.
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