The holidays – a time to get together with friends and family, share laughs and spread joy, give and receive gifts, and create a ton of waste in the process. Sorry, TONS of waste. Across the country, an average of 25% more waste is brought to the curb between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Here in Deschutes County, the amount of waste we generated per capita, and then disposed at the landfill, increased in 2016 from the previous year. In fact it has increased every year since the recession. Recycling has remained a bit more steady, but per capita we recovered less in 2016 then the previous year.
So if there was ever a time to try and curb it, it’s now, at the time when we create the most. To that end, here are some ideas for things you can give locally (or plant ideas for things you might want to get) for things that last the longest – memories, skills, experiences. These ideas also work for family living in other states, just look them up for their area.
- Check out new places with an Oregon State Parks Pass – you can also find these for family in other states.
- Give gift certificates for rentals to try out a new sport – skis, snowshoes and ski trailers to tow the little one are available at Pine Mountain Sports and many small businesses around the country offer this.
- Get on a fat bike with Cog Wild (or buy punch cards for mountain bike shuttle rides) or on snowshoes with Wanderlust Tours.
- Offer to babysit so that your parents of young ones can get outside together, often a rarity.
Give a Skill:
- COCC Community Learning has classes for youth and adults, from making kombucha and beer to writing your autobiography or discovering enneagrams.
- Bend Parks and Recreation has classes for kids and adults, from art to swimming to ski touring and more.
- DIYcave has welding date night workshops, other classes and memberships to use shop tools on your own time.
- Theater! Comedy! Music! Look for tickets, membership and gift certificates from the Tower Theater, Second Street Theater, & Cascades Theatrical Company.
- Plan a trip to Portland or Seattle! Taking care of all the logistics can make it more special.
- While kids will still want actual toys to play with, try out the motto – “Something you want, something you need, something to do and something to read” – and be sure to include an experience based gift for them. Ideas include lessons (in anything) art camps, bouncy house punch card, time at Central Oregon Indoor Gymnastics, or memberships (or just one special day) at High Desert Museum or the Sunriver Nature Center.
What ways are you gifting experiences this year? Let us know in the comments, then learn more tips to Reduce Waste Over the Holidays.