Local News

Go green for the holidays with locally made gifts

Posted December 15, 2008 5:00 a.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2008 9:35 a.m. EST

— Christmas is just over a week away, and those still working through their shopping lists can make some environmentally friendly choices.

Sarah Caldwell went looking for her last-minute gifts at Ten Thousand Villages in Raleigh.

"I feel good about the money that I spend here. I feel like it's going to a good cause,” Caldwell said.

The cause: Helping artisans in developing countries through "fair-trade" practices. The non-profit store at Cameron Village helps those entrepreneurs by selling their handicrafts and telling their stories.

Another part of their mission is protecting the environment.

"It's working with artisans to use environmentally sustainable materials as much as possible,” said Elizabeth Altman, with Ten Thousand Villages.

New uses are found for items that would have ended up in a landfill, for example.

"Trivets, place-mats, coasters, made from trash newspaper – they can make a lot out of what we consider trash," Altman said.

"I want to buy something that is hopefully good for the environment, or at least, not too bad for the environment,” Caldwell said of her holiday purchases.

Scientists say buying local products reduces pollution, and consumers can find plenty of local products at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh.

"Handmade soaps and lotions, as well as your jams and jellies, BBQ sauces – (there are) many great North Carolina products that are made right here,” said Monica Wood, with the State Farmers Market.

For more green gift ideas, check out the latest .