Austin Resource Recovery (ARR), a department of the City of Austin, encourages Austinites to consider reuse, repair and repurposing when gifting this holiday season. ARR’s annual “Give A Great Story” holiday campaign spreads awareness of creative ways to give meaningful, lasting memories and shop zero waste.
Americans generate 23% more tons of waste (5.8 million tons) in December than in other months. Choosing a resourceful way to gift to loved ones not only protects our planet but also shows thoughtfulness to the recipient. By gifting repurposed or second-hand gifts, people can reduce the number of unwanted gifts that end up in the landfill. Exploring Austin’s local art scene, taking group cooking classes online or fixing up and passing down a favorite pair of boots are a few examples of how to give a great story this holiday season.
To connect Austinites with locations to rent, repair, buy responsibility and more, ARR is promoting the revamped Austin Reuse Directory, which supports Austin’s reuse and repair economy. The directory can help residents find locations to buy thrift, vintage or upcycled items; repair a beloved item; or gift rental services. Users can also find places to donate or sell gently used items in the spirit of giving back this holiday season.
In addition to benefiting the local economy, giving zero waste gifts in place of newly purchased or produced items keeps valuable materials out of the landfill and avoids spending the energy and resources required to manufacture new products.
· Supporting local Austin businesses and organizations (concerts, theater performances, restaurant gift cards).
· Purchasing a second-hand sweater and turning it into a scarf, pillow cover or a no-sew dog sweater.
· Polishing a loved one’s favorite leather wallet or handbag.
Austinites can also reduce holiday waste by:
· Reusing materials like newspaper, posters, maps or fabric to wrap gifts.
· Sending e-cards instead of mailing paper holiday cards.
· Using and washing reusable tableware for holiday meals instead of single-use disposable options.
· Keeping track of leftovers and composting what cannot be eaten.
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