Ideas of How to Shop Local and Sustainable in New Canaan.
Panic may be setting in if you still need to finish your Christmas list with only a few days left. Those Amazon boxes won’t make it in time for opening presents on Christmas morning but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We have this wonderful town center with some fantastic stores – stores that support our community. When was the last time Amazon donated a gift certificate to a silent auction to a local fundraiser? So shop local and while you are at it, buy sustainable gifts!
Used Gifts? Think of it as “Antiquing”
We consume a lot as a society and yet there seems to be this taboo of buying “used” items for gifts. Maybe we just need to think of it slightly different. Most people don’t think of going into an antique store and buying a used gift – they are buying an antique. So, let’s start realizing the value in used items as gifts – think of it as recycling with flair or antiquing. Where can you hunt for a recycled present?
- New Canaan Thrift Store, 2 Locust Avenue, 12-4pm, (203) 966-2361 – clothes, children books, handbags, home decor, sports equipment, shoes, boots, art and more.
- DWR Consignment, 33 East Avenue, 10am-5pm, luxury and fashion brands
- The New Canaan Swap Shop – Thursday – Friday from 9am to 1pm (closed Christmas Eve). Don’t need to swap or even pay but you do need a Transfer Station pass. Items change every day and keeps great items out of the waste stream.
Give the Gift of Sustainability
or Weed & Duryea may not scream Christmas Gifts in your mind but they should. Furthermore, great sustainable gifts can be had in both stores. Walter Stewart’s Market sells adorable Swedish Towels for your kitchen (think of them as a paper towel replacement), reusable coffee mugs, reusable food containers, sustainable detergent strips, reusable bags and more. (Oh ya, bring in your reusable bags and you still get 5 cents back per bag). Weed & Duryea has a great line of compost pails for your kitchen to help you and your friends start recycling food scraps. The best part – right now compost pails and everything else in the store is 25% off!
Let’s not forget Consider the Cook on Elm Street. Beautiful reusable cloth napkins, Swedish towels and more.
- Walter Stewart’s Market:
- Weed Duryea:
Give the Gift of Lunch or Dinner
A gift certificate to one of the many fabulous restaurants in town is always a great gift. Many local restaurants support our community – so let’s throw them some support as well. Also, what is better than eating in, now that we can? Avoid all those take out containers and let someone else deal with the washing up. Though you may have your favorites, and a gift certificate to any of the restaurants in town is a great idea, here are two we love – can you guess why?
- Greenology on Main Street started the first food scrap recycling program in town for a restaurant. (Walter Stewart’s Market was actually first food establishment and they recycle literally hundreds of tons!) Spearheaded by then employee and New Canaan High School Student Izzy Kaufman, Greenology sent all of their food scraps to a farm over the border in New York. Greenology also works to keep all of their plates, utensils and more either reusable or compostable.
- Rosie Restaurant on Elm Street – when Mariana Ferreira, Izzy Kaufman, and the Planet New Canaan Youth Board approached Rosie about food scrap recycling, she was all on board. Rosie has been recycling food scraps since August and brought in the Youth Board to help train kitchen staff. This pilot program is being used as a model to possibly bring food scrap recycling to more New Canaan restaurants.
The Gift of Gardening
As we are focusing on New Canaan, it would be a great idea to check out Green Up on Smith Ridge Road. Not only will you find great houseplants at good prices, you can get your loved one a gift certificate for a raised vegetable garden for this Spring – all set up and ready to go. A living wall makes for a really cool gift and you can find them at Green Up.
New Canaan Christmas Ornaments
How many of the New Canaan Christmas ornaments do you have on your tree? We collect them in our family and love taking them out in December to put on the tree. These ornaments are hand made and painted by Faith Kerchoff, Tracey Karl and a team of volunteers. The ornaments are $20 each and can be purchased at the New Canaan Historical Society or at customer service at Walter Stewart’s Market. Two new ornaments this year you won’t want to miss – The Steve Benko Pool and Waveny Park Conservancy ornament. All proceeds are donated to New Canaan Historical Society.
Buy the gift of music lessons! Experiences make for a great gift and in New Canaan we are lucky enough to have two great establishments. Also, do you know how much New Canaan Music and School of Rock have given back to the community? We are lucky to have them in town!
For the Person who has Everything – Get them a Membership
It’s so easy to purchase a membership for your favorite person and helps great organizations in town. Here are some organizations where you can purchase a membership for your family and friends:
Just Walk the Town
I’ve left out so much but there is only so much I can cover at once. Yes, it’s getting cold but put on those walking shoes and hit town. You might notice a store you’ve never seen or you can visit an old favorite. Let’s give the cardboard box by the front door a rest and check out all that New Canaan has to offer.