Metro Vancouver wants residents to have a green Christmas even if it snows.
The regional district has compiled more than 170 gift ideas, and lots of gift wrapping, decorating and hosting tips to keep trash cans and landfills from overflowing after the holiday season ends.
They are available on its creatememoriesnotgarbage.ca website as well as a Merry Memory Maker web app (graphic, right) for mobile and desktop platforms. Metro Vancouver representatives will also be available to give out ideas in Coquitlam this Saturday.
Nothing sounds like Christmas like giving a present of a car wash, a felting class or an earthquake or vehicle emergency survival kit. Those are some of the gift ideas made by Metro Vancouver on the website.
But if those ideas don’t thrill Metro Van has plenty more.
Gifts that can be experienced instead of wrapped are emphasized including vacations, adventure race registration, streaming service subscriptions, an adopt-a-trail donation, a coffee date or movie passes.
Other suggestions are ones that won’t end up in the garbage such as food, a cast-iron pan, gardening materials, green gifts (eco-friendly products), family photos, DIY kits, heirlooms, a family tree, antiques, art, bicycles and a birdhouse.
The Merry Memory Maker app helps users choose low-waste gifts in any price range. It includes not only the ideas but a directory on where to find them and the ability to save favourites to a wish list for later.
Metro Vancouver also has some alternative ideas on wrapping so the trash cans it collects don’t overflow like waistlines during the holiday season.
“After the holidays, our region’s trash is full of wrapping paper and cheap decorations, along with many items that were quickly broken, or were not needed,” said a Metro Van press release.
The suggestions include using fabrics (tablecloths, tea towels, pillowcases, sheets or socks), newspaper, old maps, or old calendar pictures to wrap presents in. It also advises coffee cans, jars, clay flower pots and plastic containers are among some of the things lying around the house can be utilized to put presents in.
As for decorations, why not borrow from nature with pine cones and other flora to dress up a tree or the home. Decorations can be made out of newspapers, magazines pages and toilet paper rolls. Old toys, for instance, can be turned into ornaments. Reusable LED candles also don’t end up in the garbage can.
Instead of buying a tree or putting up an artificial one, place those decorations on a tree built out of typical household items such as books, ladders or picture frames and then decorate them.