Fact: Each U.S. household generates 30 extra POUNDS of trash per week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. *

The holidays are right around the corner. With Thanksgiving next week, holiday ads on TV, lights in our neighborhood, and the weather (finally) getting colder, it’s time to start thinking about how we can reduce our waste during a busy gifting season.

Studies show that over 60% of U.S. adults prefer receiving an experience as a gift in lieu of a tangible gift. Purchasing non-tangible gifts also reduces the stress of sold out items and shipping delays. 

Non-material gift ideas

  • Charity donation in honor of someone to a cause that is meaningful to them
  • Experiences
      • Entertainment – movies, plays, music, comedians, sporting event
      • Activities – bowling, escape room, kayaking, mini golf, whale watch
      • Fitness – gym/pool membership, personal trainer sessions, nutrition consultant
      • Classes – dance, karate, yoga, boxing, Arlington Community Education
      • Lessons – instrument, cooking, art, bike repair, sports, sewing, photography
      • Membership – museum, zoo, park, beach/state/national park pass 
      • Health and Beauty – massage, manicure, makeover
  • Subscriptions
      • Refillable service (wine, beer, chocolate, snacks, toilet paper)
      • Flower of the month
      • Magazine or newspaper (online or print)
      • Book club
      • Curbside composting
      • CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)


DIY (Do it Yourself)

  • Create homemade gifts with supplies from Playtime
  • Design custom calendars of your kids/pets/family/friends
  • Have children? Grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. love homemade gifts from kids. Here are some ideas: candles, soap, candy, holiday decorations, art, picture frames, painted vase (resued glass jar) so many possibilities!

    Low-waste or reusable items

    • Flowering plant or indoor winter bulb
    • Gardening kit (seeds, tools)
    • Cloth napkins
    • Reusable travel silverware and straws
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Electric shaver or straight edge razor 
    • Beeswax food storage wrapping
    • Silicon baking mat
    • French coffee press

    Shop Local

    If you choose to shop, keep an eye open for products made from recycled materials and/or select products with less packaging.

    Do some fall sorting now and donate items that could be used by others as holiday gifts.

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