Friday, 7 December 2018

Waste-Less Gift Guide

The holiday season is upon us, snow is on the ground and lights are on the houses. It's a wonderful time of year to show people what they mean to us. The holiday season is also a time of year that we create a lot of waste. The Edmonton Waste Management Centre sees twice as much waste in the last weeks of December compared to all other weeks in winter.

Here are some gift ideas to show how much you care, while also minimizing your waste this holiday season! Share these ideas with your family and friends too and we can all have a "green" Christmas!

1. Give experiences instead of things

This could be tickets to sporting events, movie tickets, attraction passes or classes. In a study on the Science of Happiness, Cornell University's Dr. Thomas Gilovich determined that we get longer term happiness from experiences over material possessions. By giving the gift of an experience to your loved ones you are not only reducing waste but giving more lasting happiness. A win-win in our book!

Photo Credit: City of Edmonton

2. Gift cards

These could be gift cards to stores you know the person loves, or gift cards for an experience that a person may not buy for themselves, such as a massage or a spa day. Purchasing a gift card helps to remove the risk of someone getting an item that they may not use and may end up in landfill.

Photo Credit: City of Edmonton

3. Re-gift or give pre-loved items

We need to remove the stigma around re-gifting or giving previously loved items. Second hand stores and buy and sell sites offer many interesting and unique gifts that still have a lot of life in them. Giving these items is a great way to reduce your environmental impact this season. It also helps support local charities and businesses. The important thing to keep in mind, much like all gift giving is to match the item to the recipient and make sure it's something they would want and use.

4. Handmade Items

Gifting something homemade is a great way to show you care because you took the time and effort to create this one-of-a-kind gift. There are a number of things you can make, such as bath products, kitchen seasonings and spice mixes, children's toys, home decor, the list goes on! Bonus points if the packaging is reusable or second hand. If you're searching for some inspiration, we have a number of ideas on our Pinterest page!

Photo Credit: One Good Thing

5. Charitable Donations

Some people on your list may say they don't want anything. This can be a tricky situation, since you may still want to acknowledge them at this time of year. A donation to a meaningful charitable organization is a great way to let someone know that you care while still respecting their wishes.

Hopefully, this list will give you some inspiration to give green and save green this holiday season! Stay tuned for our Waste-Less Gift Wrapping post.

- Krista (Staff)

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