Let's Talk Trash: Gift ‘experiences’ for the holidays

Tis the season to gift. Storefronts are getting into the spirit and reminding us in no uncertain terms that the holidays are soon upon us.

If you partake in exchanging presents with family and friends, a popular new trend is the gifting of experiences rather than things. This often comes with the bonus of not having to do much wrapping. It’s also a great way to keep yourself off Mother Nature’s naughty list.

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Inspire loved ones to indulge in personal wellness by gifting a ski pass, massage treatment, naturopath visit or yoga class. The new year is a time when we are ready to start diving into new healthy habits, so these types of gifts are timely. Some can be offered as an experience to share with your loved one, rather than sending them on their own to explore. How about a cup of locally harvested tea and a chat before the naturopath appointment, or the offer to attend the yoga class together?

Think about gifting a unique experience that your friend might not think of having on their own. Maybe a horseback ride in the winter snow would be a fun idea that’s outside of their box. Or how about a horoscope reading or a cooking class? You just might spark a new interest, or at the very least add some spice to their usual routine.

Share the gift of music in the form of a concert ticket, voice lesson or guitar rental. These are indulgences you might not think to offer yourself, but are often well received. We usually know our friends’ favourite bands, but if not, do a little investigating to find that out.

If a night out enjoying some tunes isn’t realistic because of child care challenges, that could be part of your gift. Offering to provide or source a babysitter could make the gift much more possible to enjoy sooner than later.

If you’re stuck on buying something tangible, there are many zero waste options. Craft fairs are abundant this time of year, and usually offer gifts made by locals, and with local, natural materials. It’s such a different feeling to buy from the maker, than a cashier at a box store. You can ask questions and share the story when you offer the gift for some added richness. Or, how about offering to take that special someone on a thrift store shopping spree? Make an afternoon of it, and go home with pre-loved goods that still have smiles to give.

Another great way to reduce the time, stress and waste of the gifting season is to pull names out of a hat for gifts. This can come in many incarnations, but one happens when extended family members all place their names in a hat and each pulls one name they will be gifting to that year. You can put a price limit on to ensure similar exchange or even get creative and ask that all gifts be handmade.

We love gifts offered with thought. What better present than one that is thoughtful to the planet? That’s the type of gift that keeps giving for generations to come.

Let’s Talk Trash is qathet Regional District’s waste-reduction education program.

 
Copyright © Powell River Peak

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