Green Gift Giving

Holiday gift-giving: Go green!
Ideas abound for sharing special and sustainable gifts this season. Judie Miller from Metro offers tips on wowing everyone on your list and reducing waste at the same time.

Offer a homemade or handmade surprise
• Prepare a batch of special goodies to share. 
• From knitting or sewing to candle-making and woodworking, craft unique pieces from the heart.
• Pick up local, handmade creations during Portland Saturday Market’s Festival of the Last Minute, or discover fun finds among local vendor networks such as Etsy, Crafty Wonderland and Handmade NW.
Make a treasured possession new again
• Repair that special something for someone who holds it dear. 
• Pass along a family heirloom to the next generation.
• Visit local vintage retailers to give still-good fashions a new life. 
• Convert a household item into a new gift – a denim purse from an old pair of jeans, for example.

Give the gift of time, talent, tickets or memberships
• Create personal gift certificates, offering help with chores – weeding, baby-sitting, housecleaning or handling home repairs, for example.
• Offer the gift of lessons – painting, piano-playing, swimming and more – whether sharing your own talent or arranging time with a local instructor. 
• Give tickets to the ballet, a play, the opera or a concert.
• Provide memberships to a museum, a classical garden or the Oregon Zoo.

Share a special experience or helpful resource
• Arrange dinner at a favorite restaurant.
• Build a gift “basket” of gardening supplies – seeds, tools, gloves, a compost bin – and Metro’s  Grow Smart, Grow Safe, a free consumer guide to gardening without toxics.
• Schedule a nature outing – winter makes for great bird-watching in the Willamette Valley.
• Share copies of Metro’s Walk There! guide and Bike There! map for fun, local adventures.
• Plan a vacation or day trip at the coast, mountains or other special place.

Wrap up with less waste
• For gift-wrapping, consider alternatives on hand such as newspaper; paper bags; reusable containers; fabric; old maps; or boxes, paper and bows saved from last season.
• Add a creative touch to reused wrapping by painting, drawing, stamping or printing designs on the material.
• If buying greeting cards or wrapping, pick recyclable products made from recyclable materials.
• Avoid nonrecyclable wrapping such as tissue paper or foil- or plastic-coated paper.

Want more ideas for green gift-giving this season? Visit  Oregon Metro by clicking here  or call Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000.


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