Tis the Season—Keeping it Local and Sustainable while Holiday Giving

The trend of holiday gift giving sometimes leads us to purchase unnecessary items that end up as waste. If you’re thinking differently this year and want to make a change in your gift giving, this might be the time to shift toward local products that are consumable, delicious and good for the environment!    (Hint: no wrapping paper!) Try these ideas:


Walking the aisles of the Co-op the other day, I discovered a variety of great local ideas: reusable cold and hot drinking containers, straws and utensils, stationary, candles, soaps, bath fizzy bombs, and so on. If you have someone special in mind and you’re looking for suggestions, email us! Tell us more and we’ll recommend something one-of-a-kind. In the meantime, want some unique ideas and not sure where to start? Try these:

Blake Hill Preserves. The motto “Eat-Love-Jam” says it all. The company offers a wide collection of jams and marmalades in flavors that are sweet, savory, botanical, and floral. Blake Hill also carries special diet jams and pairing gift boxes with locally handcrafted cheeses. Their descriptions of their products, beautiful packaging and recipes on their website make them a one-stop shopping!

Synergy Cheese. Only found at the Co-op! This is a sweet and nutty cheese cooperatively made by two award-winning Vermont cheesemakers, Cabot Cheese (who makes the cheese) and Jasper Hill Farm (who ages and packages). The cheese has a mild flavor and is great for melting. Use in recipes or pair with your favorite Pinot Noir.  This beautiful cheese is only available at National Co-op Grocery members.  Look for it at the Co-op Food Store locations!

Badger. This is a very special company out of New Hampshire that is near and dear to my heart.  I know this company well, respect the owners, and love their philosophy around their products. You can’t go wrong with any of their beautifully crafted lip balms, moisturizers, hair care and men’s grooming gift packages. These products really do work—as my kids can personally attest on various outdoor adventures.

Wrapping? Who Needs It?

Want to be more sustainable? Maybe this is the time to move beyond traditional wrapping paper and reuse a basket sitting around in the basement, a reusable tote bag or lunchbox, a mason jar, or a neat ceramic mug or bowl you’ve been thinking about moving on.  The creative idea of Japanese Fabric Wrapping, or Furoshiki, is a great way to repurpose a scarf, cloth napkin or placement while wrapping a gift.

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Ken Davis

Ken Davis is the Co-op's senior copywriter. Email him at kdavis@coopfoodstore.com.