EDITORIAL: December a great time to think about how and where we shop

The North Shore doesn’t lack its share of sustainability advocates.

But as the season of stuff rolls around, those concerned about climate change might want to look carefully at their own carbon footprints. That starts with paying attention to the Christmas gifts we buy.

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Shopping smart means shopping local and sourcing out food and gifts from the North Shore or the Lower Mainland. It might be giving an experience instead of a gift that requires wrapping paper and a printed card.

It could also mean looking into the ethical and sustainability practices of companies with which you do business.

Are they reducing waste, limiting the use of fossil fuels and ensuring their workers are paid fairly?

These may seem like complicated questions, but they are useful for those interested in making a difference in the world.

Many of the goods we buy are delivered by ship, truck, air or rail from somewhere thousands of miles away, and swathed in plastic packaging that will remain in the environment decades after this Christmas season is past.

This week is BC Buy Local Week. So we invite you to consider:

Can you get to your shopping destination by foot, bike or transit rather than a car or SUV? Have you considered gifts that are produced locally or ethically sourced by businesses on the North Shore?

Sure, it’s easy to shop online, but there’s a price paid both environmentally and socially. Amazon isn’t sponsoring your kid’s soccer team or paying local taxes.

Now is a great time to take a look at how and where we buy.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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