Climate-friendly shopping in 2021

by Robin Bolser

With so much disturbing news about the state of the world, it might be hard to see the coming holidays as an opportunity to make a difference about climate change. But flexing your consumer muscle is actually an easy way to tip the world in the right direction, one purchase at a time. 

We’ve all heard that shopping online is and will continue to be challenging due to global supply chain breakdowns. Don’t be a part of online gridlock! Spend just a little more thought and time on your giving and, perhaps, broaden your ideas of what it means to give gifts in the first place.   

Consider charitable giving in someone’s name and letting them know with a card. The American Red Cross (my personal favorite) and Direct Relief work tirelessly to help communities impacted by climate disasters. For those wanting to help local families, IMACA’s and Salvation Army’s Wish Tree program is a very rewarding experience. Many local businesses (like High Country Lumber) have increased their selections of toys in response to Kmart’s exit.  Keep an eye out for the Wish Trees as they appear in local businesses at the end of November. 

Blog posts on this website from last year and the year before do a great job with local ideas for giving the gift of a fun experience or of gourmet foods & beverages instead of STUFF—you know, those items with lots of packaging that collect dust on shelves and in drawers everywhere. 

But if you want some really GOOD STUFF, Bishop is a great place to get it! I explored some local shopping while my car was being serviced, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many opportunities there are for gift giving, especially for those looking for eco-friendly gifts! There are now TWO Green Certified Businesses in Bishop: Eastside Sports & Indy Coffee Roasting Company.  Great Basin Bakery is following soon (where Indy Coffee Beans are sold), as is Luxe Salon, where you can refill your shampoo bottle and avoid the plastic. For all-around great shopping in Bishop, I recommend the ToggeryBishop Art Supply, Spellbinder’s BooksAnne Marie’s Kitchen, Sage to Summit (for the yoga/running enthusiast), and Big 5 Sporting Goods (best place to avoid buying socks on Amazon). Here is a complete list of Bishop Chamber of Commerce businesses promoted recently with movie ticket giveaways. Suffice it to say, I believe one could easily get something for everyone without shopping online or burning fossil fuels to get to Reno. And it’s so much more fun than sitting slumped over your laptop late at night, wondering if those items in your virtual cart will arrive on time or be the right size. 

For those cool eco-gifts that you can’t buy locally, check out this recent shopping guide from Use these companies to send “green living” aids to a friend or family member, so they can continue the low-waste, low-carbon trend, and then ask your local retailer to carry the products!

Finally, consider paying for all these gifts with the Aspiration Debit Card, a carbon neutral credit company that gives back to the planet. 

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