This Holiday Season: Think About buying Local

Except for the Grinch who stole Christmas, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like celebrating the holidays.

 So why not take the opportunity, while making merry with family and friends, to change our habits as a society and adopt a more environmentally friendly and responsible lifestyle? There are so many different ways of reducing our ecological footprint… all it takes is a little time and effort.

 Why not choose “green” gifts for those on your list, like a made-in-Québec shopping bag? Or even gently used gifts, like a book from your local second-hand bookstore? And instead of buying new gift wrap every year, why not reuse paper saved from last year? Or use newspaper and cut out advertising flyers to make a colourful collage.

 Want to avoid giving people more “stuff”? Then consider making a donation to a charity of your loved one’s choice, or offer them tickets to a cultural event or local museum. Gift certificates are always popular choices as well, for example, for services such as moving, snow removal, catering, and so forth. 

Of course, the holiday season is the perfect time to savour fine wines, so why not sample products crafted with love by our many local vintners?  Travel the Circuit du paysan and stop in to chat with the owners, or discover the SAQ’s selection of organic wines... and don’t forget to recycle the empties!

 Another way of doing your part for the environment over the holidays is to buy local. By choosing products that are manufactured or grown close to home, you can cut transportation costs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions… in addition to supporting the local economy!

 Have you ever visited a Christmas market? A longstanding European tradition, they can now be found across Québec, for example in Montréal, Québec City, Longueuil and L’Assomption.  St-Anicet, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Huntingdon, St-Cyprien-de-Napierville and other municipalities in our region also hosted Christmas markets. There may be one close to you!  Many Cercle des fermières members take part in these markets and sell homemade goods, and I’ve also met craftspeople who specialize in repurposing items that others have gotten rid of.  What a creative bunch! I’m sure that if you contact the organizers of these Christmas markets, they will be happy to put you in touch with these talented artists.

 You can also contact local elected officials who organize cultural festivals. Often, they know of local artists and artisans you may never have heard of!  For example, did you know that there is a Circuit des Arts in Hemmingford? 

 Finally, try to carpool when running errands or going to holiday parties. We all know about the benefits of carpooling, but remember too that, if you have a designated driver, our roads will be that much safer!

 Happy holidays!