All of the cheer, less of the waste: 7 gift ideas to consider this year

Nov 5 2021, 7:58 pm

When you think of your best ChristmasĀ ever, what made it so special? Chances are, it was the people who were around the tree rather than the gifts beneath it.

This year, the holidays are bound to hit a little differently as we hope to spend time with our loved ones after so much time apart. So, while there are endless reasons to make it count, thereā€™s no need to give unwanted gifts just for the sake of giving something — especially when they will end up in the back of a closet, collecting dust.

Instead, you can take the stress out of holiday shopping by choosing a meaningful, low-waste gift that’s a little more personal, experiential, and ultimately helps make it a Christmas to remember.

To show you just how simple it is, we’ve partnered with Metro Vancouver to curate a list of seven, easy low-waste gift ideas.

Adventure together

If you’ve got an adventure-loving friend or family member, why not gift them something that you can enjoy together? This could involve taking up a new hobby together — for example yoga or running. You can reduce your carbon footprint even more by carpooling or taking transit to the activity. Another option is a virtual escape room, which works if you are celebrating with friends far away.

Visit an animal sanctuary or cafe

Adorable furry animals always have the power to make us smile, so why not incorporate them into your gift? It’s as easy as planning an afternoon to visit a cat sanctuary or a cafe that’s home to adoptable furry friends. Plus, there are plenty of options in Metro Vancouver with cat cafes and even a bunny cafe. Simply order a coffee, find a spot to sit, and enjoy some snuggles with some of the most adorable animals in the city.

Check out a local festival

Metro Vancouver is a hub for festivals in BC, and there’s always something fun happening throughout the year to suit every interest. Whether you plan to visit a joyful holiday marketĀ on a winter evening or check out another festival during the year, choosing this alternative to a physical gift means both you and a friend will have something exciting to look forward to together.

Design a fun-day itinerary

Consider yourself the creative type? You can use this to your advantage by creating a fun-day itinerary as a gift this season. All you have to do is choose the activities, which could be anything from a day of tobogganing and hot chocolate to ā€˜campingā€™ in front of the fireplace overnight or holding a book swap with your besties (or all of the above). To make it even sweeter, you could type up or write out the itinerary for your recipients.

Pass down an heirloom

One way to know if a physical gift will last the test of time is when it already has. This is why gifting someone special a family heirloom or something you cherish from your childhood is not only sentimental, it’s sustainable, too. Upon presenting the heirloom, you could even share the thoughtful story behind it (cue all the feels).

Gift a vintage gem

Since almost all of us have a fashionista on our gift lists, it makes sense to look for a sustainable, low-waste garment or accessory for them. Vancouver has a trove of vintage and thrift stores where you can find pre-loved, quality gems, from denim jackets to shearling coats to lightly-used designer bags. Before you hit the vintage stores, you can check out a list of helpful tips here.

Create culinary memories

Over the holidays, many Metro Vancouverites will be spending a lot of time entertaining in the kitchen. That’s why a gift that inspires culinary memories is a great option. Anything cast iron will stand the test of time (a skillet for delicious breakfasts, perhaps?), as will stainless steel cooking utensils. You could go the extra mile by having a gift like a wooden chopping board engraved for your friend or family member.


For even more low-waste gift inspiration, check out Metro Vancouverā€™s Merry Memory Maker app with over 200 gift ideas sorted by price range. To reduce your waste even further, visit Metro Vancouverā€™s Create Memories, Not Garbage website for low-waste wrapping solutions.Ā 

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