As you were cleaning up from the holidays last year, did you tell yourself that 2013 would be different? Did you make a pledge to cut waste, reduce the number of “gadgets” given, buy local or look for products with less ridiculous over-packaging?Black Friday, the day that is eagerly anticipated by retailers and deal-huters alike is coming soon and now is your chance to follow through on some of your pledges!

If you really like giving tangible gifts to your loved ones, consider buying handmade gifts produced locally. Buying local takes a little more planning but the payoff is huge to you and your community. Local products often come with much less packaging, and have traveled a shorter distance to get to your door and support people in your local community. Here are a few places to shop:

November 23-24
Yulefest at Nordic Heritage Museum

November 29-30
Etsy Rain Handmade Holiday Show

November 29 – December 1
Duwamish Tribe’s Native Holiday Gift Fair

December 7
South Park Art Under $100

December 7-8
Phinney Neighborhood Association Holiday Festival

Finally, The Seattle Good Business Network (we’re a member) is a great way to find locally owned businesses worthy of your patronage.

Another option for reducing waste is to give experiences instead of stuff. Take your cousin to a hockey game, set up monthly dates with the kids or spouse, buy membership passes to a favorite museum or give the gift of classes to learn a new hobby or skill.

For more ideas on reducing the waste this holiday, check out the King County’s Green Holiday webpage and enjoy being creative!