The holidays for many is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. But it is also the most wasteful and consumer-driven time. Surely, with approximately 7.2 billion spent on Christmas gifts, 2.6 billion cards sent, and 27.8 million Christmas trees cut in Canada alone, the impact of this one holiday is massive.
We can do our little bit of good to help reduce holiday waste by making conscious choices during the festive time.
This season, why not treat your outdoorsy one to a gift that’s low-impact, responsibly and locally sourced, organically grown or gives back to the environment?
If you want to shop more consciously this holiday season, here are some West Coast inspired gift ideas for outdoor-lovers that you’ll feel extra good about giving:
A great gift for the hiker, traveller, backcountry seeker or any outdoor enthusiast in your life. Go to a local bookstore, and check out the location specific guidebooks available for your region.
With the mountains, the ocean and the rainforest surrounding us, the Coast Mountains of British Columbia are a perfect location for foraging, and there’s plenty to forage year-round. A foraging guidebook is the perfect gift for aspiring ‘mushroamers’, curious foragers, avid wildcrafters, or to anyone interested in getting to know the landscape surrounding them.
A Living Tree
We all know how delightful it is to have the fresh, intoxicating scent of fir wafting throuh our home during the holidays. This year, why not choose to use a plantable tree? Live Christmas trees provide long term benefits for both the environment and your landscape long after the holidays have passed. Seedlings and potted plants are also great presents that will endure. Choose native plants that will attract native birds and insects. Potted herbs will supply culinary enjoyment and pleasant aromas for as long as they last.
An Outdoor Experience
You can find wonderful gift-worthy experiences right in your own backyard. Surely, we live in a playground with amazing options that involve the great outdoors. A day skiing or snowboarding, a snowshoeing excursion, or a moonlight backcountry adventure would make a wonderful present.
Offer a class or workshop that provides an introduction to bushcraft, wildnerdess living or survival skills in the Canadian outdoors. From firecrafting, to shelter building, to camp cooking, to foraging, this is a great way to give your wild one the opportunity to expand their skills and step into the world of comfort that our natural habitat has to offer.
A Plogging Date
Plogging is an eco-friendly fitness mashup of jogging and picking up trash. You can plog anywhere, anytime, whether they be city sidewalks, urban trails, nature paths, or along any shoreline.
A Plot in a Community Garden
It might be winter, but considering offering a plot in a community garden could be a great gift for someone who’s interested in growing their own food, but doesn’t have the space.
A Subscription to Imperfect Produce
Imperfect produce is the misshapen, scarred or slightly bruised fruits and veggies that are thrown away by farmers and grocery stores because they are not deemed as perfect for sale. By consuming imperfect, still great produce, we can help fight food waste.
Handcrafted Goods from a Local Artisan
Buying locally made products not only helps the local economy, but it also helps the environment. Support your community by shopping local markets and Christmas pop-ups.
By Noémie-Capucine Quessy