- Treat your home to Energy Star appliances
If you can get them at a locally owned appliance store, that's even better.
- Bring reusable bags
Check out the huge and convenient IKEA shopping bags for 59 cents and use them during your shopping spree. I've got 3 of these and have used them over and over again.
- Shop locally
If you usually shop at big box stores, try at least one stop at a locally owned store. You will likely be amazed at the selection that you can't get in any big box location.
Some of my Twin Cities local favorites are: Patina, Nokomis Shoes, Bibelot, Electric Fetus, Cooks of Crocus Hill and Creative Kids Stuff. Be sure to check their sites - some have online deals if you can't shop in person.
- Look for local discounts
Check out sprout.mn for Twin Cities local merchant & green money-saving deals before you head out.
- Buy consignment & reused
Turn Style and Half Price Books are great places to browse and pick up something for yourself too.
- Skip the drive-through
Eat at at a locally owned restaurant after you've shopped. Buy some gift certificates for your friends and family if you like the place.
- Buy original art as gifts
Artists will appreciate your business and you'll give something unique to the person who has everything.
- Give the gift of a cultural experience
A gift certificate to a world cuisine restaurant or tickets to a cultural event that heightens your interest. If you don't know where to start, check out event schedules from local colleges and universities.
- Invest in rechargable batteries
We haven't done this yet...it might be the right year!
- Order online
My favorite way to shop - saves gas and time. FedEx & UPS know the most fuel efficient routes - much better than we do.
- Think about last year
How did you handle Black Friday last year? Did you like your choices? Or did it make you want to cringe? Remember what you liked and didn't like and set some green improvement goals. Here are some thoughts from last year's shopping.
- Be kind to others
- Be polite to the store staff, and
- Give a smile to those around you.
And hopefully that last bit of advice wasn't too preachy.