By: Amanda Sparrow, Donor Relations Manager
As someone who is known for their crazy shopping habits, I always participate in “Black Friday.” This year I decided to take The Nature Conservancy’s Green Gift Pledge to shop local and online for my Holiday gifts. At first I was a little unsure that I could find anything that my friends and family would like. However, as the day progressed, I surprised myself and saved money in the process.
First I decided to use two websites that not only help you save money but help you support local businesses in your area. I used livingsocial.com and groupon.com. I selected the cities my friends and family live in and had e-mails sent to me with each location’s deals of the day. Some of the great deals I received were:
– Horse drawn carriage ride in Atlanta- $10 – I saved $20 and the money goes to the Foundation of a local park in Atlanta.
– Seafood Dinner for two for $20 – I saved $55!
– Three manicures in Palm Beach, Florida $30 – I saved $45!
– University of Kentucky Apparel -$10
– Massage or facial in Atlanta for $15 – I saved $45
– And the great deals with on and on!
After about two weeks I had half my holiday gifts purchased in the comfort of my home, while supporting local businesses.
My second “Green” gift idea was to shop downtown Lexington on “Black Friday” instead of going to the mall. I decided to call it “Green Friday.” At first I was a little unsure I could find gifts in my price range but I found some great deals and got a free gift in the process.
My first stop was The Lexington Center’s Artique location. As I walked in, I was shocked to see a display case with a sign that said that 5% of proceeds of items sold in that case go to The Nature Conservancy! What a great find! I talked with the sales associates and learned it was something new they were doing. There were some great recycled gifts in the case for all ages. I found some hair pins made from recycled cans that were super cute and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy one.
The Lexington Centre has many great local stores that sell “Kentucky Proud Products.” If you’re looking for a gift for someone that may have moved away from KY, I would check out The Kentucky Proud Market. They sell wine, food products, books, and hand-crafted items. I found some great specialty food products for a relative to enjoy over the holidays and a bottle of local wine for my parents. Because I shopped on Friday at the Lexington Center I received a free Poinsettia which was a great gift to myself!
Other stores at The Lexington Center:
Illusions- Jewelry & Accessories
Kentucky Korner – UK Apparel
Kyle’s Cards and Gifts
Lafayette Galleries – UK Memorabilia and artwork
Old Kentucky Chocolates – Favorite item: Chocolate Covered Potato Chips
Parisienne – Ladies Boutique
The Toy Shop – Children’s toys
Your Frame of Mind – equine art, sculptures, gifts, and accessories.
My second stop was Victorian Square. It had been a while since I had stopped in but I was very glad I did. My first stop was to Good Scents Home & Body Shop, where they make on-site custom home and body products made with all natural ingredients. My favorite item is their bath bombs! Great stocking stuffers!
Other Stores at Victorian Square Shoppes
Howard Miller – Mens Clothing store – Great Ties
Miss Priss – Special occasion dress shop
Only in Kentucky –UK Apparel – Kentucky Proud Food Products
Sincerely Yours – Gift Boutique
Two NEW Stores: Shoe store & Young ladies Boutique. Both great for looking for that special date night dress and pair of shoes.
Overall my trip on “green Friday” was worthwhile and very successful. I had all my Holiday shopping completed after my trip and felt my green pledge was worthwhile. I encourage everyone to take part of “green Friday” next year and shop local wherever you may live. You may be surprised the great things you can find for your family and friends.