Eco friendly gifts for the holidays

It’s the holiday season, and as that old song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  It’s a time for gathering with family and friends, taking part in celebrations, sharing delicious meals, and giving gifts.

Unfortunately, along with all of this merriment comes an unexpected side effect — waste.  Typically, more waste is generated during the Christmas holidays than any other time of the year.

To help reduce waste, consider giving gifts that are “green” — easily reusable or recyclable, made from reused or recycled materials, or inherently good for the environment.  Each member of the HaltonRecycles team is recommending an environmentally friendly gift for you.

Apple tree-to-beNicole W. recommended an apple tree kit.  “We always play a gift game with my cousins, so I find it hard to find a generic gift that everyone may like,” she said. “Now that all of my cousins are older and have houses, I thought this would be the perfect gift that would keep on giving!”

“For the music lover, I would give these drink coasters which are made from reused records,” stated Andrea. “I think they would look great in a rec room.”

“I plan to give an environmentally-friendly shirt like this to someone on my list,” said Shirley. “Cotton fibres from old textiles are recycled and remade into new shirts.”

Nicole M. recommended reusable glass containers. “I like to give homemade baking as gifts. Use glass containers to package your baked goods, because they can be used again for leftovers and lunches and are a great option instead of plastic packaging that you might throw away,” she stated.

“I have a friend who rides his bike to work everyday. I am very impressed by that,” explained Walter. “This charger system is perfect for his biking lifestyle since he has many gadgets that need powering and they can be recharged while he rides to work.”

ReKixx“While these shoes would not be accepted in Halton’s Blue Box program,” said John. “They promote recycling, can be recycled by sending back to the manufacturer, and look pretty awesome.”

“Hockey fans are sure to love any of these amazing items made from recycled wooden hockey sticks,” suggested Stacey. “In fact, we collect wooden hockey sticks at the Halton Waste Management Site for recycling!”

“For those that have everything and are environmentally minded, consider purchasing a Green Lights Pact,” explained Ben. “Your purchase will ensure green power is being generated and injected back into the Ontario electricity grid, displacing the burning of fossil fuels.”

WineRack“This year, I’m spending $0 and making gifts for my family and friends. I am reusing old wooden skids and unwanted stain to make wine racks,” said Allison. “I plan to make five or six.  My loved ones, however, will be responsible for stocking the shelves!  If you want to make your own, follow these instructions.”

“We’re a fairly affluent society, we technically don’t need more ‘stuff’,” said Joyce. “I’ve noticed many younger people have no idea how to cook. I think purchasing the gift of a cooking class at a local college or cooking school has a tremendous benefit — developing a new lifelong skill, and reducing the amount of excess packaging generated by take-out and fast food.”

Some other green gift ideas include an annual pass to Conservation Halton parks, public transit passes, certificates or tickets to one of the great attractions and experiences in our community, or even a donation to an environmental charity.

Will any of these gifts be under your tree this holiday?  What other environmentally friendly gifts would you recommend?

About HaltonRecycles

Encouraging the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – for all residents, schools and businesses in Halton Region, Ontario, Canada. By recycling and composting more, we help extend the life of Halton's landfill, protecting the environment.
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