Laura Turner SeydelBy Laura Turner Seydel

As we prepare for the gift-giving holidays, we find ourselves more conscious than ever about the money we spend and the gifts we’re buying.

This year, act locally (while thinking globally!) to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts to make this holiday season one of the best yet. Support the local businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible and who, in turn, contribute to the overall wellbeing of our local economy and environment.

Show everyone how great green can be by shopping at ecoEmporium (, a haven of eco-friendly gifts. From recycled felt handbags to responsibly made jewelry (they’ve got Mark Edge and Smart Glass Jewelry!) to filtered water bottles, ecoEmporium is a one-shop-stop for everyone on your list.  Or head down to one of Atlanta’s co-op boutiques, featuring handmade gifts, fashions and art by local artisans.

At The Collective (, located in Inman Park, is the perfect spot for unique finds. Recycled skirts and shirts from Lancaster West and Stay Low Run Fast, respectively, make perfect gifts for the teenage set, while organic skin care products from Sally B’s Skin Yummies are always favorite stocking stuffers.

Buckhead’s Beehive Co-Op ( also pays tribute to our local talent and features slow fashions from Zoica Matei, sustainable handbags from Alejandra Dunphy and precious organic children’s clothing from Lil’ Sprouts Knits.

Also, when shopping, look for the gifts that keep on giving. Local board game company Games For Competitors ( offers an eco-friendly version of their popular strategy board game, Tri-Cross, and pledges to give 10 percent of each game sale to the Captain Planet Foundation to support their similar shared interest in education and sustainability.

Another great gift for kids is the book Our Friends The Frogs (, a book very near to my heart, that tells the story of our endangered frog friends and supports Amphibian Ark through each sale.

Shop smart this year and give the gifts that make a statement. Wow everyone on your list with a thoughtful, unique gift, while creating a stronger, healthier environment for our community.

For more tips for a healthy planet, visit

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.