The busiest election season of the year is coming up… how will you vote?
Yes, I know that the political mid-term elections are already behind us. However, that’s just one type of election: a political one. Every day, you vote many more times with your dollars. You may choose to support large corporations that focus on maximizing shareholder profits; small, independent businesses that are active in their local communities; or any number of other businesses in between. But with each purchase, you are casting a vote in support of that company’s practices.
This holiday season, you might consider supporting green, women-owned businesses. To get you started, here are a few suggestions (and in case you’re wondering, I’m not receiving any compensation for listing these companies). All of these businesses are either certified B Corporations or members of the Green America Business Network (GBN).
- Bamboo gifts: Bambooya offers clothing for men, women, and children, housewares, handicrafts, gift sets, and more – all made from bamboo, which is a renewable natural resource. Bambooya is a member of the GBN.
- Fair Trade fashion and footwear: Autonomie Project is a B Corp that makes clothes using organic cotton, natural FSC rubber, and other environmentally friendly and locally sourced materials produced by independent co-ops and Fair Trade-certified facilities. Items include clothing for men, women, and children.
- Green toys: Toys made in the U.S. from recycled milk bottles are just one of the items available through Kate’s Caring Gifts; other items include soaps and lotions, dinnerware, and more. Kate’s is certified through the Bay Area Green Business Program and is a member of the GBN.
- Handmade jewelry: Turtle Love Co. and Melissa Joy Manning are both B Corps that make handmade jewelry and seek to use conflict-free gemstones and local artisans, among other sustainable practices.
- Natural cosmetics: Alima Pure is a B Corporation that makes all natural cosmetics. Their products do not contain any additives, fillers, or fragrances that might irritate the skin.
- Organic gift baskets: Choose from a wide selection of gifts including items that are free of preservatives and artificial ingredients. It’s Only Natural Gifts is a member of GBN.
- Porcelain dinnerware: Mary Anne Davis of Davistudio produces sustainably and individually made porcelain dinnerware. Davistudio is a certified B Corp that has reduced energy use, uses a lead-free glaze, and recycles all waste material.
- Recycled housewares: Organic Bug is a GBN member on a mission to offer quality, contemporary, eco-friendly, fair trade and natural wellness products. On their website, you can shop housewares, toys, clothing, and more by collections such as fair trade and made in the USA.
- Thai silk home and personal accessories: Siw Thai Silk is a B Corp that works with village artisans in Thailand to produce pillows, throws, scarves, and shawls all using Fair Trade practices.
- Recycled paper gift wrap: This year, forget the plastic bags filled with gift wrap and bows. Earth Presents, a GBN member, provides a more earth friendly alternative – recycled paper gift wrap for your holiday needs.
In addition to purchasing green gifts, you might also want to consider other holiday options such as making your own gifts, supporting charitable organizations through volunteering and/or donations, or choosing gifts that give back to women, which give back to the women who produced them.
Carolina Miranda is the founder of Cultivating Capital, a business consulting firm specializing in helping women business owners develop sustainable businesses. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise that combines fundamental business skills with a deep understanding of sustainable business practices. She has a background in both non-profit and for-profit businesses and has first-hand experience working as a Sustainability Manager, implementing sustainability certifications, and conducting green business audits.
This article originally appeared at Cultivating Capital. You can view it here.