Buy Canadian, Be Canadian! The job you save maybe your own!
Hmmm... reading about it, seems like we become as patriotic as Americans (as Obama want them to be). Exactly not a bad thing.
Buy local, buy from small farmers, buy from local crafters!
Fueling our own economy, this might be a model to sustain ourselves, even to a smaller extent. We still import our food, because our weather does not permit farming 12 months a years, unless you live in BC.
While my shopping are normally from MEC, there are other resources for the confuse shoppers.
1. Why MEC? (www.mec.ca)
I know, expensive, but those products last for a long time thus less product go to landfill. If you buy MEC sweater, guaranteed that next year you won't throw it in the garbage. If you don't like it, you can basically sell it used ( good used value) or freecycle it (many would want it). MEC carries variety of durable products, and it is very easy to find the "made in canada" labels. MEC has been the un-official guardian of our landscape, long before this movement of going green burst into the mainstream. Each adventurer with each backpack pledge to protect nature, or whatever is left of it. They promote healthy children by promoting nature friendly outfit, regardless if the weather is -40C or hot baking sun.
2. Another resource for good gift are local growers, who sells those bowls of succulents and cacti.
Who can refuse a cup of air fresheners? Those cacti and succulent bowls, locally grown, and great home, (feng shui) accents. I have succulents that lasted years, versus the usual 3 month maximum life of a cheap houseplant.
You can buy from hobby growers like me too, I don't spend more electricity that bigger greenhouses, just normal kitchen light I used for household.
3. Free Cycle Ottawa, http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/freecycleottawa,
Stories - that's all that makes a holiday cheer!
Last year, I rescued few plants from the neighbors. They got busy in summer, that the plant was inching its way to the garbage bin. I ask if I can take them in, I cared for it, and when Thanksgiving came, I put it back in their front steps as a present. They all have a big laugh when I brought it back, all dolled up. They told me who gave it, and why it was given, then they neglected it and it came back like someone who gave it! LOL
Grab something old that grandma is not using, a favorite mug perhaps. Turn it into a cacti or succulent bowl, that way no need of watering at a regular basis. If you visit grandma once a month, then water the cactus at this rate. It won't complain. Small succulent fit on those wall units, encase in glass units in the living room.
If you want to make sure your succulent bowl survive, do it now, the month of November. I started mine yesterday.
A bag of potting mix, put in your plants (loblaws, home depot, lowes, rona) - check plantcycle ottawa first if they got any for free-great, then top it when shattered glasses, pebbles, rocks - anything you got. NO drainage hole, or with drainage hole, no problem. If you water it ONCE A MONTH, the water already evaporate!
Here is mine:
4. Lastly, if you must buy like coffee, consider Fair Trade. It will help those of needed it, no matter how far they might be, they certainly appreciate it. I know, we have our stories and volunteers overseas.
In 2008, I organize the Massive Outreach in Ottawa to educate Ottawans about Fair Trade. I am a member of Engineers Without Borders-Carleton Chapter. (www.ewb.ca)
5. Think what's inside your cupboards, and your closet. Maybe, you can trade it with someone, sell it, or re-use for gift ideas!