Consider an eco-friendly alternative to gifting

Image of people rolling dough together in kitchen

This holiday season, consider a gift that generates meaning without generating unnecessary waste. While it may seem like spending a great deal for a brand new item is the key to the perfect gift, you may be surprised to hear the number of Americans that would prefer a homemade gift or a weekend away from home instead. In fact, Americans return about 3.5 billion products, with five billion pounds of returned goods ending up in landfills each year. There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives that not only curb spending and waste habits, but also eliminate shipping delays, anxiety and the other stresses that come with holiday shopping.

Simple repairs that show you care

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The recipient of your gift will likely cherish the family photos you restored into an album or timeless leather boots you resoled and polished. While there are plenty of creative ideas for zero waste gifting, here are some ideas for repairing and regifting things you may already have.

  • Repolish and touch up furniture items (nightstand, coffee table, bookshelf, etc.)
  • Rebind and restore old books or photos
  • Fix up a piece of tarnished jewelry (watch, necklace, bracelet, etc.)
  • Have a favorite pair of shoes resoled and polished

For local resources to repair items in Austin and neighboring areas, visit the Austin Reuse Directory.

DIY and reuse gifts

Image of person sewing a holiday blanket

Whether you're crafty or not, there are simple ways to make a creative gift that leaves a heavy sentiment without the unneeded waste. There are many local options for reuse materials in the Austin Reuse Directory, or you can repurpose things you already have at home.

  • Consider making pillowcases or blankets from t-shirts or flannels
  • Craft picture frames from cardboard, yarn, wood, etc.
  • Use ceramics, cups or bowls as planters or candle holders
  • Use a mason jar to make your own snow globe

A short tutorial online or finding repair experts through the Reuse Directory may be all you need to give the perfect gift for to a loved one. You may consider attending a Fix-It Clinic in the future to learn how to make repairs to jewelry, electronics, bikes, clothing and more.

Learn more about Give a Great Story and the benefits of shopping zero waste.