Buy Less and Buy Local

Working in the Junk Removal industry has taught me to de-clutter my own life. I am hyper-aware of what I need, and what will likely be gratifying only for a moment and then shunted off to the recycling plant. I work really hard to keep my “stuff” to a minimum – but gift giving is a challenge.

Historically speaking, giving someone a gift reflects your thoughts or feelings about that relationship/person. However, consumerism has managed to convince us to tie a dollar figure to the whole process! I posit that we all have dollar values in mind when thinking about gift giving whether you intend to or not. Christmas presents for sisters second husband, $20, Christmas present for only niece who you are super close with, $50. You may find your niece the perfect gift for $30, but my money says you buy extra “stuff” to bring the total up to your mentally associated “right price”.

The psychology around gift giving is huge and complex, so this year I have determined to buy less and buy what reflects my ideals, and the person I am buying for. I recently read an article in The Vancouver Sun about HoboWorks, a local business run by two brothers who turn trash into treasures. I was perusing the website, saw a great gift idea for my friend and thought – that’s perfect, reusable, local, made from recycled materials! One down – more to go. With a little more research I discovered just how many options are out there to give without buying stuff!

  • Have an avid bike rider in the family? Skip the new pair of bike shorts or that latest water bottle, and purchase a tune-up from the local bike shop!
  • Can’t stand to give your nephew another video game? Try setting up a special day, just the two of you to go to the planetarium or have an ice cream eating contest!
  • Are your parents lamenting about all the clutter in the attic or garage? Call Fresh Start Recycling and Disposal, we do gift certificates, and I guarantee your parents will appreciate the help more then another inspirational mug of calendar of your cuties!

These are just some ideas to help navigate through the holidays while staying true to yourself and your ideals. But at the end of the day, if you end up with more stuff than you bargained for – call Fresh Start, we can donate what you don’t need to those who need it, recycle what we can and get rid of the rest.




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