To help reduce waste associated with the holidays, consider sustainable gifts from local businesses this holiday season.

To help reduce waste associated with the holidays, consider sustainable gifts from local businesses this holiday season.

Share the joy and create memories, not garbage!

Panic buying setting in? Maybe you’re trying to find last-minute ideas and feel you need to hit the big box stores to buy random items for the people on your list? Why not take a look around our lovely valley and ask yourself “How can I support my local economy” or “How can I make sustainable choices?”

Here are a few things to consider this unique holiday season, as shopping looks a bit different…

Think Local

To help our local businesses get through this disruptive pandemic, the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, City of Port Alberni and webmax.ca have developed a free digital platform for the businesses to sell gift cards to be redeemed later.

Better Buy Port Alberni (BBPA) features a wide variety of business categories, from restaurants to hair stylists to clothing. Choose a company you already know and love, or a new business you want to discover.

Gift cards may not look impressive under the tree, but they’re guaranteed to give your loved one something they actually want. Make it extra personal by making a custom gift card. For example, you may want to give someone you love: breakfast in bed, dog walking or spend time weeding their garden.

A lot of our local organizations have taken their fundraisers virtual with some amazing online auctions – a great way to support local charities and share some amazing gifts! For those on your list who don’t need or want more stuff, consider a donation to a local charity their behalf so they receive a charitable tax receipt.

The Farmers’ Markets are also open for a few more weeks and have COVID protocols in place. Purchase some homemade preserves, seasonal baking and other artisanal products from our local producers.

Think Reuse & Repurpose

Polly wants an Instapot and Gerry wants an axe?… Does it really have to be new? Maybe someone else has a gently used item they’re trying to sell online for a fraction of the price.Facebook Marketplace has lots of gems right here in the Alberni Valley or nearby Island communities. Don’t forget Craigslist, Used Alberni and Kijiji are other online resale platforms worth checking out.

The biggest thing is to use your imagination. Thoughtful gifts that encourage zero-waste living is about being creative, defying commercial standards and the motto of continuous improvement. Sustainability is worth striving for! If you can regift items or buy second-hand, this is excellent – the world has enough stuff.

A thoughtful gift certificate is always the right size!

A thoughtful gift certificate is always the right size!

Think Sustainable

Zero Waste Canada, a Vancouver-based advocacy group, estimates that “each Canadian tosses about 50 kilograms of garbage over the holidays, 25 per cent more than the rest of the year, thanks to the purchase of 3,000 tonnes of foil, 2.6 billion Christmas cards and six million rolls of tape.”

The most important consideration we should be making when choosing a zero-waste gift (or any gift, for that matter) is whether it will actually be used (and cherished). Look for gifts that are compostable (or edible), digital (think subscriptions), or reusable. We want to give things that are wanted, not wasted.The number of Amazon return items that end up in landfills is astronomical!

Look for gifts to help people reduce their waste footprint, including those with minimal packaging, reusable mugs or water bottles, stainless steel or silicone straws, beeswax wrappers, or a living gift such as fruit tree, shrub or houseplant.

And wrap with low-waste materials: old calendars, old maps, newsprint, mason jars, tea towels, brown paper bags that are decorated, fabric … the possibilities are endless!

And if you can find your item locally you might consider which businesses are environmentally friendly, give back to the community, and have a long-term commitment to making the world a better place when making a purchase.

To learn how and what you can recycle this Christmas, download the free ACRD Recycling and Waste Wizard from your mobile app store, looking for . Learn more at acrd.bc.ca/recycling_schedules and check out the Facebook Page “Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Education” for weekly tips and updates for the Valley.

EnvironmentGreen LivingRecycling

Just Posted

The Rogers Creek Trail main trailhead is located on the Redford Extension in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hiker rescued after cold few hours in the bush outside Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad said they receive frequent calls for people lost on this trail

Helma Swinkels, left, from Bibi J’s is all smiles as she makes her first donation under the new business name to Ellen Frood from Alberni Community and Women’s Services (ACAWS). In 18 sales days, Swinkels was able to donate $3,000 to the transition house. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Bibi J’s in Port Alberni makes first donation to non-profit

Alberni Women and Community Services to benefit

Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced that Red Deer and other rural locations would soon be getting doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. (photography by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
EDITORIAL: Leading by example

Those in leadership roles need to follow the restrictions they impose on others

Melissa Martin from the Rollin Art Centre holds two paintings from the Rollin Art Centre’s permanent collection: an original portrait painted by the late Robert Aller, and a mixed media piece called ‘House’ from Peggy Larson that was part of Aller’s private collection. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre to re-open February 2

Newest exhibit will feature some pieces from permanent collection

Rik Abel has opened Rik’s Picks, a vintage record shop on Johnston Road. (TERESA BIRD / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BIZ BEAT: Port Alberni businesses get innovative during pandemic

See what’s new in the Port Alberni business community

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Most Read