AUSTIN (KXAN) – On Monday,  Austin Resource Recovery shared a list of zero-waste gift ideas for the 2022 holiday season.

ARR said its annual “Give A Great Story” holiday campaign was created to spread awareness on creative ways to give meaningful, lasting memories and shop zero waste.  

The city department said it wanted to encourage Austinites to consider reuse, repair and repurposing when gifting this holiday season.

“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,” ARR said.

ARR’s list of zero-waste gift ideas includes:  

  • 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

ARR also said Austinites could 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 and keeping track of leftovers and composting what cannot be eaten.

The department said it was promoting the 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,” ARR said. “Users can also find places to donate or sell gently used items in the spirit of giving back this holiday season.”

ARR said in addition to benefiting the local economy, giving zero-waste gifts instead 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.