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Gifts That Build Nova Scotia’s Capacity to Waste Less!

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It’s so easy to spend money this time of year. It seems everywhere you look there’s a sale for something that someone on your list just can’t live without. It’s easy to get caught in the trap. Did I get something for everyone on my list? Did I buy each person enough to really show them I care about them? But there’s one gift we could give that we don’t often think of immediately. It costs $0 and it creates zero waste. It’s the gift of our time.

Take a moment to think of someone you care about. A family member, a friend, or a favourite teacher. Think about the things that person likes to do. Maybe they like being outdoors and you could go snowshoeing together. Maybe they like animals and you could volunteer at an animal shelter together. Maybe they like sports and you could gather a bunch of their friends to play a game of hockey or soccer.

Now think of the things that person doesn’t like to do. Maybe you could do the dishes or mow the lawn for them. Maybe you could scrape their car windshield before they go to work. Maybe you could do a chore for them so that they can spend their time doing something else.

I have recently been doing virtual visits about wasting less during the holidays. We talk about all the waste that is produced this time of year. Wasted gift wrap, food, electricity, and STUFF. The students each think about two people they care about and then make gift coupons describing what they will do for that person. Grade four students at Baddeck Academy made coupons for things like cleaning the deck, babysitting, walking the dog, taking out the garbage (without complaining!), baking together, washing the dishes, building a snow fort with a friend, and cleaning the classroom for their teacher, Ms Delaney. Grade five and six students at Rankin School of the Narrows made gift coupons for things like making a fancy supper and by candlelight with mom, cleaning a little sister’s bedroom, doing laundry, and watering the Christmas tree.

The students decorated their coupons and brought them up to the computer’s camera to read them to me. Each one was very thoughtful. The classes are going to learn to make their own envelopes for their coupons, made out of reused paper. There will be many beautifully crafted, thoughtful coupons opened on Christmas morning in Baddeck and Iona.

Gift Coupons
Gift of Time Support Package
Upcycling & Green Gifts Support Package

~Shandel Brown
Engagement Officer Cape Breton

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