You have probably heard of Black Friday, but have you heard of Green Friday? Green Friday encourages people to shop mindfully and to shop sustainably. This doesn't mean that you can't “shop ‘til you drop", it just means, be more mindfull of your purchases, shop small local businesses, eat at local restaurants. Gifts don't alway need to be bought at a store they could be gifts of experiences, make a coupon book, include visits to museums, lunch at a locally owned cafe, a day of exploring one of our wonderful parks to marvel at nature, bird watch or take a swim. By shopping green and shopping local, you help create jobs for your friends and neighbors, contribute to improved public infrastructure, and invest in your community both socially and economically.
This year many local business are celebrating Small Business Saturday by offering specials only available on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Stop by the Equal Rights Heritage Center and shop local artisans, enjoy live holiday music from the Lock 52 Jazz Band (2-5PM), sip on hot cocoa and cider. Do a little holiday shopping, purchase a History's Hometown gift bundle, including a tote bag and note card set for $20. The Taste NY Market will be offering Sweet Treat Trail gift bags with New Hope Mills pancake mixes and Smokey Hollow maple syrup, plus custom baskets and grab ‘n go gifts. Stop by Artistic Impressions at the Historic Willard Chapel they are offering refreshments, hot chocolate & gift with purchase. Click here to view what other businesses are offering on Small Business Saturday.
Shop Green: Here are a few ideas on how check a few names off your list while shopping locally and sustainably:
1. Cool Reusable Gifts: Tote bags, Water Bottles, Mugs
2. Gift Coupons for an Experience: Short Trips, Theatre Tickets, Dinner Out, Museum Visits
3. Purchase a gift certificate, the Auburn Downtown Gift Card is accepted at nearly 50 Downtown Auburn retail shops, spas & salons, restaurants & breweries, service businesses & entertainment venues.
4. Craft Fairs are a great place to shop for a great one of a kind gift. On December 3 and 4, Prision City Pub and Brewery will host it's Annual Holiday Market, Finger Lakes Mall is hosting a Holiday Craft Fair and Market and It's back...the Cayuga Community College Craft Fair is back for its 47th year after taking some time off during the pandemic. Check out our events page for more!
Below are just a few of the many Finger Lakes businesses, and specialty shops you can visit for gift inspiration!
Something for person with a sweet tooth on your list:
Searching for decadent chocolate that will win over even the pickiest chocolate connoisseur? Gretchen's Confections has it all from delightful chocolate to sumptuous cups of hot cocoa and light fare as well. This year order a box of their favorites, or a gift certificate if you simply can't decide what tasty treats to pick! They will even ship your order!
Moonflower Macrons is a boutique pastry shop specializing in the French macaron. They offer macarons in fun colors and shapes, inspired by the season, they infuse the macaroons with flavors that are made with local ingredients, such as coffee, jam, and even beer! Stop in to shop our current selection or browse the website, where you can order macarons available for shipping nationwide.
Looking for more yummy options? Bradford Heights Marketplace located in the Fingerlakes Mall, Auburn features locally produced baked goods, raw honey, jams, jellies, handmade candy and more. Who would not want a basket full of these sweet goodies to share with friends and family over the holiday season?
For the coffee lover:
The gift of locally roasted coffee is sure to be appreciated by any coffee lover. Simple Roast Coffee in Auburn features delicious fair trade, organic beans and Crow City Roasters also in Auburn offers a variety of small batch artisan coffees.
Hand Decorated Holiday Décor and Gifts:
The designers and artisans of MacKenzie-Childs in Aurora have created beautiful, original designs that have added joy and grace to homes throughout the world for more than 30 years. Their holiday themed collections include everything from paper goods to bottle stoppers to dish towels and are a unique addition to any gift basket. Online ordering available.
Check out these local shops who specialize in one of a kind, locally made, upcycled and sustainable products.
Check out one of Auburn's newest businesses Reuse Refuge! They offer a plethora of eco-friendly options in a cozy, friendly atmosphere.
Visit Regenerations in downtown Auburn for funky up-cycled wares and home decor. Their store also features the work of local artists and is a great place to buy a variety of gifts including ceramics, jewelry, and ornaments.
If you are in northern Cayuga County, be sure to visit South Shore Artisans in Fair Haven, an artist co-op featuring a unique collection of fine and folks art, all crafted locally. Step back in time at the historic Hardware Cafe and General Store and enjoy a great home cooked meal and shop for locally produced syrups, jams and more!
Need someting full of sparkle and bling? Then visit Divine Coverings they offer hand placed bling custom sunglasses, uniquely personalized bedazzled baby gifts, glittered products for women, brides and rhinestone covered office supplies for Divas of all ages.
Yellow Wallpaper Co. aims to bring unique, one-of-a-kind products into your home while reducing landfill waste by upcycling and reusing everything from furniture to home décor, making the old new again.
Suzie Q’s Gifts and more offer many unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts, jewelry, décor cards, handbags and more! Many items created by local artisans Look no further to find that hard to find perfect gift.
Looking to purchase a gift basket full of local product or make you own?
Even though strawberry picking season is over, the store at Strawberry Fields Hydroponic Farm is chock full of jams, jellies, home decor and more! Stop by to grab a fresh cut Christmas tree or peruse their custom-made wreaths and decorations in the full floral shop!
Stop by Taste of NY located in the Equal Rights Heritage Center in downtown Auburn, here you can buy items for your basket or purchase already made-up baskets. Also, while there you can warm up and explore the exhibits.
More Ideas for sustainable gift giving…GIft Certificates!
Have someone who is hard to buy for? A BID gift card is the perfect gift, this gift card can be used at over 40 local businesses. For more information visit: https://www.auburndowntown.org/gift-cards
Gift Certificates to a restaurant are always welcome, visit out restaurants page for more information on areas restaurants.
Do you have a favorite place to shop, and undiscoved treasure in the Fingerlakes? We’d love to hear about it. E-mail me at dawn@tourcayuga and tell me about your favorite place to shop for local and sustainable items.