Let’s keep our homes—and the planet—clutter- and waste-free this holiday season

The amount of "stuff" you receive over the holidays can be overwhelming. And while gifts are well-intentioned, you often get things you don't want or need that just end up taking up space in your home until you throw them out.

If you want to participate in the spirit of giving this holiday season without creating more consumerist clutter, here is our list of gifts that won't contribute to the landfill...

Digital giftsNetflixPhoto by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

  1. Donations: Select an organization that supports a cause your friend or family member is passionate about.
  2. Gaming subscriptions: Ask ahead and find out what video games they're into.
  3. Magazine subscriptions Find a new online magazine that reflects the gift receiver's interests or pick a publication that you already know they love.
  4. Netflix or Prime account: Who wouldn’t want their binge-watching habit covered for a year?
  5. Kindle books or Audible: The perfect gift for the avid reader in your life.
  6. Udemy Course: For the friend who just loves to learn or take classes... about everything!

Experiencespottery classPhoto by Earl Wilcox on Unsplash

  1. Tickets to a theatre show. This gift also helps support the local arts community.
  2. Pottery classes: Learn a new skill together and make your own plates and mugs while you’re at it.
  3. A night at a cabin or AirBnB: Take a ski trip with friends or family this winter, or plan ahead and book that summer cottage.
  4. Cooking classes: Improve your culinary skills together or watch each other “Nail it!”
  5. City tour: It can be fun to take a tour of your own city—whether you’re new or not. Grab your bikes and rediscover some hidden gems around your neighbourhood.
  6. Spa day: Help them take a load off after the holidays and spend the day getting pampered.

MembershipsyogaPhoto by Kaylee Garrett on Unsplash

  1. A national park pass: Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast.
  2. A gym or yoga membership: Support your friend’s fitness goals.
  3. A local museum membership: This is a great activity for the cooler months and supports local historians and artists.
  4. Farm share: Why not support your local farmers while also giving your friends and family nutritious food?
  5. Food box: An ideal gift for the busy bee who doesn’t always have time (or ideas) for cooking.

The gift of time and serviceSunday brunchPhoto by Davey Gravy on Unsplash

  1. House cleaning: No one will say no to some help with tidying their home.
  2. Family portraits: Whether you’re a photographer or know of one, this makes a thoughtful gift for any family member.
  3. Sunday brunch: Set a date and invite the gang over for a brunch to keep the holiday spirit going.
  4. Garden or yard help: Handy with those garden tools? Help out a friend who might not have the greenest thumb. 

Consumable giftsteaPhoto by Helen Shi on Unsplash

  1. Coffee and tea: Support local cafés while keeping your friends well-caffeinated.
  2. Local food and snack box: Grab some of your favourite goodies from around town and DIY a gift box.
  3. Beer and wine: With all of the micro-breweries and wineries out there, you can put together the perfect collection, no matter the gift-receiver’s taste preferences. 
  4. Baked or canned goods: A wiz in the kitchen? Use your skills for good and share your culinary abundance.