Day 25: Make sustainable gifts

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Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of the year. This extra 25% of waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage! Most of this goes to landfill and won’t be recycled or reused.

Christmas and other celebrations bring conflicting feelings: it’s a time of the year to be merry, a time for family reunion and excitement, but also a time of massive consumption. A lot of energy and resources are needed to create all of this new stuff.

Here are several tips for more sustainable gifts :

  • After opening up the gift(s), save wrapping, ribbons, bags and boxes for future use

  • Use old posters, comics, magazines, shopping bags, maps to wrap up the presents

  • Give experiences instead of new things (going to the museum, parks, beaches, hikes, concerts etc.)

  • Give gift certificates (restaurants, book stores, video rental stores, grocery store etc.)

  • Offer memberships (health spa, swimming pool, book club etc.)

  • Create a personalised video

  • Write a card or a note on recycled materials

  • Donate to a good cause or charity instead of buying a gift

  • Make accessories (jewellery, hats, scarfs…) from existing materials

  • Offer a service (babysitting, cooking, hairdressing, cleaning…)

  • Make a home-cooked meal or bake a cake

  • Collect scrap of clothing to make wrapping that you can save and reuse indefinitely

  • More ideas of sustainable and minimalist gifts

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