Waste-free holiday: DIY gift making can be more memorable, less wasteful

Waste-free holiday: DIY gift making can be more memorable, less wasteful
Posted on 11/27/2017

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Americans generate 25 percent more waste than at any other time of year ­– an additional 1 million tons per week for six weeks. According to the National Environmental Education Foundation, Americans annually discard an estimated:

  • 38,000 miles of ribbon, or enough to wrap around the planet (with some left for a bow);
  • $11 billion worth of packing material;
  • And 15 million used Christmas trees.


According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $967 on gifts, décor, greeting cards and other items this year. In contrast, many adults report that they would prefer less emphasis on the commercial aspects of the holidays and more emphasis on time spent with loved ones.


Why devote so much money, time and stress to procure items that may be headed for a garage sale or the landfill in less than a year? Why not prevent waste, reduce personal stress and save money by doing it yourself for some or all of your gifts this year? There’s a do-it-yourself idea that’s right for you.


Take Time to Make Memories

Time spent preparing for the holidays will be remembered as fondly as the holiday celebration itself. You can spend quality time with loved ones while making gifts. Share the work, the expense and the fun with friends and neighbors.


Have a gift making themed holiday party.

From soup mixes and hot chocolate kits to personal care products and textile crafts, these elegant yet economical gifts are simple to assemble. And don’t worry about messing up the kitchen or getting everything perfect. Traditions are enriched by the stories shared from previous years, including stories of mishaps!


DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Visit www.lanecounty.org/lessisbest and click on the wreath to find instructions and a template for sewing simple bean bags from scrap materials. We have included a free printable How to Juggle instruction booklet. This gift can be completed during an evening or two of TV viewing or visiting. Additional DIY gift ideas can be found on our website.


Record yourself reading a book. This is especially great if you have two or three people on your list that will enjoy listening to the same book. Kids can do this too. An older child can record a story book for younger siblings or cousins. This suggestion and many more may be found on the website Buy Nothing Christmas.


Tips for Making the Season Meaningful

Explore Center for a New American Dream to find very simple and satisfying alternatives to the shop-till-you-drop method of holiday gift giving. Download the free booklet titled Simplify the Holidays. This popular publication offers practical tips and inventive suggestions for making your holiday season more meaningful, with more joy and less stuff.



Waste-Free Holidays Campaign

Lane County Master Recyclers invite community members to celebrate the season of giving by reducing, reusing, and recycling waste that is typically generated at the holidays. The Waste-Free Holidays Campaign highlights several fun, low-cost and simple waste prevention strategies families can use from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day – or any time of year! Visit www.lanecounty.org/wastefreeholidays to view tips and resources to help create a truly enjoyable season. New items are added throughout the season so check back periodically for inspiration.


Lane County Master Recycler Program

Master Recyclers bridge the gap between awareness and action by motivating people to reduce solid waste at home, work and play. Lane County Master Recycler volunteers provide more than 3,000 hours of waste prevention education to residents, businesses and events each year. Visit www.lanecounty.org/masterrecyclers to learn more.


Please note that the external links included in this release are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Lane County of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Lane County bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.