Gift Giving | Circular Economy Month | Waste Reduction Week in Canada

Gift Giving

Rethink gift giving this holiday season by giving gifts that promote and encourage waste reduction. 

Give experiences

Gift Experiences

Make new memories by giving experiences instead of things. Some great ideas include:

  • Plan a trip together
  • Gift certificate for a nice meal out
  • Get pampered at the spa
  • Lift tickets to hit the slopes
  • Tickets to a movie, sports event, show, or concert
  • Visit a museum, art gallery, or local attraction 

Made to last

Skip the cheap trinkets and purchase practical, quality gifts that the person will actually use and will last a long life span.

Eco-friendly gifts

Give a gift that friends and family can use to help reduce their waste footprint. Some ideas include: beeswax food wrappers, reusable mugs/bottles or lunch boxes, bamboo toothbrushes, stainless steel straws, or houseplants. 


  • Received a gift you don’t want or need (or like)? There’s nothing wrong with re-gifting! Instead of buying new just regift it to someone else who will use it. 
  • Save money and extend the useful life of products by gifting refurbished electronics. Certified pre-owned or refurbished products have been restored and repaired (if necessary) and operate just like new. 

Purchase gifts with minimal packaging

Many products are covered in layers of single-use packaging. Try purchasing products that have minimal packaging and use recycled content. 

Donate unwanted items

Donate any unwanted holiday decorations or gifts to a local charity.

Clothing donation

Make your own gifts

Save money and reduce packaging waste by making your own gifts such as baked goods in reusable containers, homemade bath bombs, homemade jewelry, or mason jar gifts.

Host a holiday gift swap

After the holidays host a holiday gift swap at your workplace, community, or at your home with friends and family. Not only is it a great way to find a home for your unwanted gifts, it’s an opportunity to together with people over the holidays.

Not sure how to host a swap event? Use the Swap It Toolkit, a step-by-step guide for organizing a swap event. 

Swap It Toolkit


Add a personal touch

Instead of buying cards, either make your own using recyclable paper or send an e-card. There are lots of great websites where you can make personalized animated or traditional holiday cards sent right to your friends and family’s inbox.


Add value

Give someone the gift that keeps on giving. Memberships or courses, such as yoga, sewing, cooking, or bike maintenance. Give your loved ones the chance to develop a skill as well as indulging in a hobby or passion.

Did we miss anything? Share your tips with us on social media (@WRWCanada)!

Additional Gift Giving Tips & Resources

Christmas celebrations generate a lot of trash.

Have a friend or family member who's trying to reduce trash? Give them the tools to succeed!

With holiday spirit abound our consumption habits tend to increase.

Give a gift that friends and family can use to help reduce their waste footprint.

Try giving differently this season to keep unnecessary waste from entering our landfills. Need some inspiration?

Have trouble finding the perfect present for that special someone?