Coalition Report

By Caitlin Zera,
MCE Membership Specialist
Coalition For The Environment

It’s Not What You Give, It’s How You Give…

Purchasing gifts during the holidays introduces all kinds of dilemmas for the environmentally-conscious: is the item local, fair trade, organic? There are a few initiatives like “Giving Tuesday”and “Buy Nothing Day” which challenge the traditional holiday shopping habits of Black Friday and Cyber Monday by encouraging us to divert our dollars to nonprofits and even to abandon our spending altogether.

These kinds of answers to the beckoning of consumerism can get us thinking that maybe part of the problem is not exclusively what we give but how we give. One of the best things you can give someone you care about is probably the thing you’re running most short on: time.
This holiday season, consider taking the time you would devote to seeking out the perfect gift for a friend and instead putting that time towards an activity you can do together.

Share your skills
Spend some time fixing a leaky sink, helping build a raised bed, or knitting a pair of gloves for a friend or family member. But take it a step farther and teach your friends and family a skill. Skill-sharing builds long-lasting knowledge and gives you invaluable time with the people you care about, creating something that means much more and lasts much longer than that cute ceramic tchotchke.

If you love good food, share a meal made with local ingredients. If you already participate in a CSA or make weekly trips to the farmers market, take your friends and family along. Introduce them to your favorite farmers and vendors and then share the experience of making your favorite recipes and enjoying a meal together.

Share your passion
Take friends and family to a community film screening, an evening of community storytelling or spoken word, or a panel discussion. Often these events are free or have a suggested donation that will support a local nonprofit or group.

Share your support
Give a friend a gift membership to one of your favorite local nonprofits. Memberships support the work of nonprofits, such as Missouri Coalition for the Environment, on a monthly or annual basis and are critical to the daily operations of many organizations. They can also offer a sense of community, providing opportunities to meet new people and engage with important issues. If you’re not able to support financially, always consider volunteering. Happy Holidays from MCE!

Visit www.moenviron.org to learn more.
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