The Gift of a Sustainable Christmas
The art of upcycling, repurposing & restoring
There are many polarizing debates regarding human impact on the environment. Watch the news or check your latest social media feed and you’re bound to encounter an opinion on one of the many ways we are destroying our beautiful planet. No matter what side of the environmental divide you’re on, you likely can agree on one point: Humans are wasteful.
If we can set our differences aside, and focus on one simple goal – to reduce waste – wouldn’t it be possible that other goals might be achieved as well? By reducing our demand for goods, wouldn’t we thereby reduce our draw on natural resources, carbon emissions (think production and shipping!) and stress on the environment due to the volume of waste? We think so!
With all the media attention surrounding the environment, we now have a society that values the art of upcycling, repurposing and restoring. Gone are the stigmas around “used goods”. Shopping for second-hand items is now a smart way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
But what about when it comes to gift-giving?
According to Bloomberg, buying used is the next big trend in Christmas shopping.
More than half of Americans are open to getting pre-owned gifts this season as thrifting goes corporate… Once taboo, the pre-owned market is increasingly seen as a savvy way for shoppers to save money, discover harder-to-find items and reduce their carbon footprint in an age of disposable fashion. Source
Give a gift that stands out.
A vintage album, an antique dish set or one-of-a-kind collectible are just a few examples of ways to delight friends and family this holiday season. Another great way to master the art of gifting previously owned items is to restore, refurbish or upcycle. Not sure where to start? Check out our Crafter’s Corner or jump on Pinterest for inspiration. A simple coat of paint can transform a worn piece of furniture, and the recipient will appreciate the time you spent.
Beyond the gift itself, another great way to shop second hand to reduce waste this Christmas season is to consider the way you wrap.
540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper — the equivalent of the weight of 100,000 elephants or 4.5 CN Towers — ends up in landfills following the holidays, according to a 2017 study by environmental group Zero Waste Canada. Source
Skip the shiny new paper and visit your local thrift shop. Second-hand jars and containers can be sterilized and used to pack baked goods. Or check out the over-flowing aisle of Christmas items. Festive dish towels, printed tree skirts, holiday-themed canisters and cookie jars all make for inspired wrapping!