Photo: Give the gift of a healthy environment

I don't need any more stuff. You probably don't either. So give the most thoughtful gift this holiday season by not giving anything (store-bought) at all!

What could you possibly be hoping to receive that's of greater value than a healthy environment? Shiny toys, fancy gems and giant gift baskets pale in comparison to the value of our ecosystems. Plus, it affects nature when we buy a whole lot of stuff — and wrapping — we don't need.

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Cookies and compassion

Holiday donations and heartfelt homemade goodness are the recipes for success at our house:

  1. Make cookies, soap or mulled wine mix for friends and family
  2. Donate to charity (the David Suzuki Foundation would do nicely)
  3. Bake until golden, wrap with fabric and enjoy the warmth all year

Some years, we also invite our friends to pool resources and make a larger charitable gift. It's a rewarding way to foster community.

My gift to you is a healthy environment

Cute gift tags ensure friends and family enjoy the benevolent side of their gift while indulging in the shortbread side!

Making your own set of tags couldn't be easier — because my gift to you is a printable template! Print and attach tags that read "No more stuff: My gift to you is a healthy environment" to your of holiday treats!

The circle is designed to fit on the top of a Mason jar lid. The rectangle looks great on any gift.

Gifting kids a healthy environment

Grown ups will appreciate you not filling their house with stuff they don't need. The littlest merrymakers might be another story.

While my kids are excited to be involved in our philanthropic endeavors, they would certainly balk if their stockings were stuffed with charitable donations. (Besides, I love seeing their faces light up when they open the perfect gift!)

So how do we give those we love most the gift that matters most? An incredible experience— like tickets to a play, sports game or concert— is sure to deliver both a merry Christmas and a healthy environment.

How will you give a healthy environment this season? Share in any of the following four ways to enter to win six beautiful fabric wrapping bolts and a copy of Wrapagami, courtesy of author Jennifer Playford:

  1. Share a picture of your wares, with a #NoMoreStuff gift tag on our Facebook wall
  2. Post a picture of your wares, with a #NoMoreStuff gift tag to Pinterest
  3. Tweet your #NoMoreStuff shot
  4. Comment here with ideas for waste-free giving

Tovah Paglaro, The Queen of Green

December 11, 2012

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Dec 04, 2013
1:09 PM

Melting old candles into a coffee mug, tying a ribbon on the handle, to which a book of matches is attached. When the lights go out, grab your cup and light it. It is safe to carry room to room without spilling or burning your hand.

Nov 27, 2013
8:42 PM

My close friends and I do a secret Santa with the gift being something handmade, home made, up cycled, or preloved. They are the best gifts too! Last year there were homemade goodie boxes, a upcycled palette into a coat rack, handmade jewellery, and wine ( winemaker husband). We all loved it.

Jul 02, 2013
4:00 AM

Nice post

Jun 06, 2013
9:52 PM

Thanks for the informative post. We should really think about environment and try to use products that are eco-friendly, I work at WeWood which produces eco friendly wooden watches and plants a tree on every sold watch, this is what we are doing for environment, hope it will continue for a long time.

Dec 21, 2012
10:09 AM

About 90% of the gifts I am giving this year are handmade. And of that 90%, approximately 75% use recycled or upcycled products for the end result gift. Old cards become new cards

Dec 18, 2012
3:20 AM

I actually found a ton of my gifts at the thrift store this year. I got some amazing things, that I’d been searching for new originally. I didn’t have to buy new and they came without all the packaging!

Dec 17, 2012
12:45 AM

Hi Lindsay, re your article “Organic Wine Explained” could you tell me if you were only referring to Okanagan wines made with GMO yeast, something I’d never heard about before. We mostly buy certified organic wines and other alcoholic beverages. Is this a regional thing, do you know if GMO yeast is used in Europe, S. America, California, Australia, N. Zealand etc.? Thanks, Helene

Dec 12, 2012
7:44 AM

Great and informative post. We now need to reaally of my youth. Yes, I think I can share more information. Use.thanks I can share all of these efforts …

Dec 11, 2012
7:02 PM

Hi, lovely post, very timely. I started wrapping gifts with thrift-store scarves a few years ago. I like giving locally produced consumables, thrifted treasures (and books), tickets to outings and hand-made (by me) knits.

Dec 11, 2012
4:29 PM

I totally agree with ‘experienc’ gifts being the best! Tickets to something, or setting aside to do an activity together which will create lasting memories. In my family we have gone dog sledding together, winter trail riding, snowshoeing, x-country skiing and more (in lieu of any gifts) and I remember these moments together more than I would any object probably.

Dec 11, 2012
3:46 PM

I live the no stuff idea ! My birthday is coming up this week and I’ve asked that no one buy any ” stuff ” for me. A bag of food for the food bank has been accepted . We will be making home made Christmas decorations to help celebrate the day.

Dec 11, 2012
2:28 PM

This year my kids are getting an annual pass to Science World and my nephews are getting movie passes. My mum’s gift to my sister and I for the past several years is to take us out for high tea. I think the best gifts involve giving your TIME to a loved one — it creates fabulous memories!

Dec 11, 2012
1:39 PM

Great post, thanks for sharing your ideas. I especially love the idea of wrapping with fabric. Do you know if Furochic is available at retailers in the GTA or is it available online only?

Thank you

Dec 11, 2012
1:11 PM

I keep lots of stretchy pillow cases and use those for wrapping gifts — tie a knot in the top for little ones, or tuck the opening underneath for big ones. But the thing with most impact this year is we decided (and informed friends and family) to only have one very nice present for each child, instead of heaps — good for the environment, and for our small amount of storage. Luckily our relatives agreed to go along with our plan. With two little ones under 5, we aren’t fighting huge expectations, so that single gift should give lots of Christmas joy.

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