While exact numbers for holiday gift expenditures in 2011 are still to be tallied, according to the American Research Group, Inc., consumers from around the country planned to spend an average of $646.
One way to make the holidays greener, help preserve our
environment and protect its natural resources, and perhaps even keep a little
more green in your wallet, is to commit to green gift giving and not only for
the holidays, but all year long.
Would you like to present a friend or loved one with a unique gift?
Try a gift hunt to an antique or thrift store. Treasures abound from vintage houseware items to paintings, lamps, jewelry, books, estate sale masterpieces and designer duds. If you feel your recipient might prefer selecting their own gem, many stores also offer gift certificates.
Not exactly what you are looking for?
If you find an item that you feel would make a wonderful gift, but it's a piece of furniture, or an attractive picture frame, but it's not the right color or it needs an alteration in some way. Think about restoring it! Add that new coat of paint, change out that fabric, add that button or hook. Check out websites such as Better Homes and Gardens' budget decorating ideas and flea market retreat ideas.
Flip through your favorite magazines while waiting in line at the grocery store.
Enjoy the Reveal
Find creative green ways to wrap your special present. Reuse a gift bag or buy a reusable gift bag at a local store. Reusable produce bags made from recycled plastic bottles (PET plastic) or organic cotton (which can be laundered) often have attractive and festive designs. Presenting your gift in a reusable bag allows the recipient an opportunity to reuse the bag for other shopping excursions. You can also reuse and/or decorate gift boxes, tins, pottery, wicker baskets, and other items too add fun and conversation into the mix.
The Gift Hunt
Some local area Ventura County Stores & Shops:
The Arc Foundation Thrift Store, 265 East Main Street, Ventura, 805-653-0271
The Buffalo Exchange, 532 East Main Street, Ventura, 805-648-6873
Coalition Thrift Store, 270 East Main Street, Ventura, 805-643-4411
Goodwill, 3351 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 805-650-9339
Goodwill, 267 Arneill Road, Camarillo, 805-445-9196
Goodwill, 140 W. Hillcrest, Thousand Oaks, 805-494-7250
ReStore, 121 S. Rice Avenue, Oxnard, 805-981-2268
Salvation Army Thrift Store, 4100 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 805-658-7671
Salvation Army, 2400 West Hillcrest Drive, Newbury Park, 805-375-6980
Antique Mall of Camarillo, 58 Palm Drive, Camarillo, 805-484-7710
American Vintage, 384 E. Main Street, Ventura, 805-643-7676
Times Remembered, 467 East Main Street, Ventura, 805-643-3137
Ventura Antique Market, 457 East Thompson, Ventura, 805-653-0239