Keeping it Green This Holiday is a series of posts about minimizing your environmental footprint in a season that can easily be excessive. A beautiful holiday can be had by making things from scratch, spending time at home and outdoors, and less time worrying about to-do lists and ‘getting it done’. Check out the rest of the series on thegreenrock.ca, and have a happy and green holiday!
Gift-giving is a central part of the holiday season. Giving is always best when the gift makes the giver and the receiver feel great during the exchange, and after. Here are some tips on how to use your purchasing power with your environmental footprint in mind, as well as some ideas on how to be creative with gifts and decorations this holiday season.
One way to cut down on consumption this holiday is to have a secret Santa (where everyone picks names from a hat), rather than everyone giving gifts to one another individually. It means one special person to focus on, and one great gift to source.
Things you love, things you love to do, and how to find them in the greater St. John’s area. Sometimes it’s made right here – other times it’s made by you! Supporting local goes a long way. Check it out!
Vintage: Quality vintage clothes last forever and it’s not hard to find something unique. If you have someone in your family with a penchant for retro, a gift certificate to Model Citizens wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Charlottestreet Fashion: Handmade clothing from recycled sweaters, right here in St. John’s.
Johnny Ruth/Living Planet: sourced ethically and they have an amazing selection. Friendly staff – a very fun place to shop.
Check out Nonia, or the Craft Council shop for all your knitted goods needs. Craft fairs in St. John’s or around the bay are also great places to find hand-knitted goods. It’s also great to support local knitters, who work so hard at their craft.
Locally made cutting boards, spoons and walking sticks, make beautiful and functional gifts. Check out the Craft Council shop for some wooden wonders.
Food & Drink
If you’re visiting someone on the Mainland, a taste of your home is always appreciated. Newfoundland Chocolate Company is a great place to start, with delicious chocolates filled with local berries. Local wines are another option, Auk Island Winery makes a variety of berry wines, including “Funky Puffin.” If wine and chocolate aren’t your thing, how about some bottled moose or bakeappel jam?
Made By Me –
Nobody can turn down a tin of cookies or squares. Just be sure to be conscious of allergies/dietary restrictions!
Hot chocolate spoons look pretty and would be fun for a snowy evening.
Homemade pickles, chutney, jam. This can be a fairly inexpensive gift idea. Especially if you make your jam from berries you’ve picked yourself. Also, you get to hone your canning skills (if you’re new to preserving, it’s always a good idea to try this with an experienced friend).
Check out this link, for more edible gifts that can be put in mason jars.
Knitting: Ravelry is the mecca of free, inexpensive, and beautiful knitting/crocheting patterns.
Sewing: Make something crafty-clothing, quilt, bag, potholder and learn a new skill at the same time. Craftster is a great way to find cool projects with tutorials.
It’s always nice to receive a playlist mix tape/CD, a personalized playlist of music, selected just for you. Always respect the artist – buy the music!
Here’s a super practical gift…and a new option for those looking to avoid chemical cleaning products, but don’t know where to start. Check out this page for some recipe ideas.
Gift Certificates, though sometimes considered an impersonal choice, are nice in terms of environmental footprint. Instead of buying a whole bunch of trinkets that may be thrown away, your recipient can carefully choose a gift that they will be sure to use and enjoy. A gift certificate for what? Restaurants! Bookstores! Music stores! Electronics! Movie tickets! A game of golf! Anything with options…
Time Well Spent
Instead of another material thing, a very nice thing is to give the gift of time spent together. Take your loved one(s) to a concert, play, horseback ride, or on a trip!
The Gift of Giving
Giving someone ‘the gift of giving’ is an idea well within the holiday spirit… Donating to a local charity in their name is one way to do this (spending the same amount you would have spent on their gift). Another great way to give this gift, is via a Global Giving gift card. You can put as much money as you want on the card, and your recipient gets to choose from a multitude of charities around the world.