Thinking of, finding, and purchasing the perfect gift can be really stressful at this time of year. Many of us want to show our appreciation and admiration to many friends and family members, and the gifts can pile up quickly. Besides causing a bit of stress, gifts given at this time of year produce a mountain of garbage. Whether it be packaging that is discarded or simply the disposal of the gift after it has sat around into the New Year, gifts make garbage. Metro Vancouver’s Make Memories, Not Garbage campaign has shared some great ways to reduce waste while still giving this season. They have broken gifts down into four waste-wise categories and given plenty of examples of great gifts in each category! Here are just a few examples:
1. Experiences- Giving the gift of an experience is a great way to show your family and friends that you truly care. Experiences encourage time to be spent together learning, practicing and participating, and are often the memories we hold on to long after tangible gifts are gone.
Consider items such as concert tickets, classes, dinner out or even a donation to a charity that is important to your loved one.
2. Gifts that Last- It is really surprising how after all the time many of us put into buying and giving gifts how many things are thrown away or broken shortly after the Holidays. Gifts that last are better for the environment because they stay out of our landfills and also cut down on the production needs since you will not need to be replacing the item.
Some great, long lasting gifts include cast iron kitchen wear, wool products and games that can be enjoyed for years to come.
3. Make Your Own- Handmade gifts truly are a great way to show someone you care because of the amount of time, thought and effort that go into the gift. When making your own gifts you also have a lot more control over what products you use and what you choose to leave out- such as excess packaging.
Try your hand at baking, creating a photo album or scrapbook, or making homemade jewelry for a personal and sustainable touch this holiday.
4. Second-Hand Gifts- Re-gifting or re-homing items is a great way to keep items from becoming waste. The impact of second-hand gifts could be very significant in helping keep potentially great gifts out of landfills!
There are so many things you can pass along to friends and family as gifts this holiday such as a good book, antiques, china, and even sports equipment.
Don’t let holiday gifts stress you or our environment out this holiday! Try some of these waste-wise options and start the tradition of thinking sustainably this season. Find more great gift examples on Metro Vancouver’s website. Happy Giving!