With America’s biggest shopping day of the year creeping into Thanksgiving, it seems like a good time to step back and think about how we want to spend our holidays.

Before we get caught up in holiday shopping it’s a good time to remember that as consumers when we shop is when we have the most control over the most important “R” of Reduce Reuse & Recycle. This season, we’ll focus on ways we can reduce waste around the holidays. Check back as we expand each tip to give you more ideas and resources. Think it can’t be done? Pick one and see for yourself, then let us know how it went!

1) Plan Ahead and Prepare:

Spend time really thinking about the person you are buying a gift for.  You’re more likely to get them something they will really want or need that won’t end up at a white elephant party or worse, in the trash. TIP: If they are on Pinterest, your job just got easier.

2) Make Memories, Not Garbage:

Support local businesses while making memories through experience based gifts like dining, outdoor recreation, theaters, spa treatments and more!

3) Quality Over Quantity:

You might save a few bucks up front, but how long before it ends up in the garbage?  Holiday sales are a great time to get a higher quality product that will last, for less.

4) Buy Handmade:

Try Etsy online or The Workhouse locally for handmade products.  There are tons of eco-friendly, unique and upcycled gifts available from independent artists.

5) Buy the Product, Not the Packaging:

10% of what you spend goes to the packaging, most of which winds up in the landfill.  Avoid buying over packaged goods.

6) Buy Local:

If you’re going to spend money, keep it local.  More of your money stays in Central Oregon when you support local businesses. Gift cards are one way to keep your money local support a local while being sure your loved ones get what they want.

7) Choose Reuse:

Shopping bags and coffee mugs for shopping. Plates, cups and napkins when entertaining. Gift bags and ribbon for gift giving. Avoid unnecessary waste by avoiding disposables and using reusables throughout the holiday season.

8) Think Outside of the Box:

Don’t get stuck wrapping boxes in paper that often just ends up in the landfill, even though wrapping paper is recyclable.  Have fun with reusable tins, gift bags, ribbon and fabric for unique gift giving.

9) Buy Used:

Last year’s gear is this year’s bargain.  Try local resale stores or craigslist for great deals without all the waste.

10) Spend Time, Not Money:

Instead of buying something for someone, do something with them or for them.  Go sledding, bake cookies, string popcorn, have a tea party, make gifts, babysit, repair a bike, build a bookshelf, surprise them with breakfast in bed.

 

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