Planning an event? Create memories, not waste.

Check back closer to a holiday for specifically themed content to help you, your family and your friends create memories and not waste. Until then try these tips for making life’s special events memorable and not at the expense of the environment.

Waste Conscious Gift Ideas

Gift giving is one of the many ways we express our appreciation to people in our life. But we don’t want to just give stuff, stuff is everywhere in our lives and more and more we are realizing that stuff doesn’t bring happiness.

Pick out a gift that can be used again and again and again. Go sturdy and functional – pick out an easy to clean, reusable travel mug. Go shopping in your home – do you have something you haven’t used in a while that you know your friend would use?

Go for something that will last. Consider planted herbs or plants that are good for cleaning your home’s air. Kitchen ware like a good cast iron pan can last a lifetime and is very versatile.

Give to a cause or charity in someone else’s name or volunteer together to help the community.  The Sunshine Coast has many not-for-profits and charitable organizations working to enhance our community.

Ideas include outdoor adventures like snowshoeing or kayaking, dog walking, baked treats, home improvements or landscaping, music lessons, art lessons and plant cuttings.

Opt for longer-lasting flowers or plant cuttings (if you are have green thumb!) over store-bought cut flowers.

Go edible or go crafty. Bake or cook your gift. Think about making a batch of jam or pickles and canning it so you can give them as gifts for all your friends for the rest of the year. Try your hand at a DIY project.

If you get a gift go with recycled wrapping paper from kids art work, or newspaper, a handkerchief or a cloth shopping bag they can reuse.

Still stumped? Maybe you have a great idea that’s a little expensive, work with mutual friends and pick out a gift that might too expensive for either of you to buy on your own, but together would make a great gift for your friend. Perhaps a gift card is better and offer to go with them so you can make an experience out of it. Does your friend have an e-reader? If so give them an e-book instead of a paper book.

Dedicating time to your friend or loved one to take part in their favourite activity or try something new and make memories that will last longer than stuff we buy that doesn’t get used.

Skip plastic decorations, paper decorations are fully recyclable at your local depot click here for a list of party recyclables (includes piñatas too!)

Children’s parties can generate a lot of garbage in a short period of time. Focusing on a memorable birthday without the one-time use plastics and without the emphasis stuff and instead on enjoying the party will bring memories instead of waste to the party.

Some ideas include:

  • consider e-vites to parents or craft handmade invites from existing craft supplies.
  • offer snacks that don’t need plates, like a cake made of cupcakes, sandwiches, wraps and veggie or fruit slices.
  • when using plates either go reusable or fully compostable (sorry plastic coated <insert kid’s favourite cartoon> plates, you’re not invited)


Visit for our recycling directory or call RCBC at 604-RECYCLE for where everyday items can be recycled. Want quicker access to the recycling directory? Download the SCRD Collects App on your smart phone and use the waste wizard feature. Click here for Google Play link and here for the Apple Store.