AUSTIN (KXAN) — Who wants a thing, when a great experience or story is better. Austin Resource Recovery, the City of Austin’s trash and recycling department, has launched a new campaign this holiday season urging you to give a different type of gift.

Rich Segal spoke with ARR about the program, what sort of gifts you can give instead and why the holiday season is so bad for the environment. You can learn more in the video above or read the transcript below to learn more.

Rich Segal, KXAN: Today we’re gonna be talking about the Give a Great Story campaign that is being put on by Austin Resource Recovery. Joining us here is Maddie Morgan. She is the Circular Economy Program Manager. What is the “Give a Great Story” campaign about?

Maddie Morgan, ARR: So this is our annual initiative to really encourage Austinites to think about alternative gifting. It’s typical around this time of year that more waste is generated here in the U.S. between Thanksgiving and the end of the year just from including food waste, and gifts and gift wrap, and all the things that come along with holidays.

Giving a great story is really giving a meaningful gift, whether it be an experience, whether it be taking something that a loved one’s favorite item that maybe has been sitting on the shelf because it broke or needs some repair, or visiting a local thrift store and really putting some personalization into the to the gift that you’re choosing.

Segal: Now I would think based on what you just said that Christmas cards probably generate as much waste as gift wrapping.

Morgan: I don’t know that we have statistics on that exactly. But there is national data from the Center for Biological Diversity that we generate 23% more waste in December than other months of the year.

And one note … on Christmas cards is that cards printed on photograph paper are not recyclable, so they’re not set up. They have a lot of glitter and just different doodads on the card. They wouldn’t be recyclable.

Segal: I want to give a gift, and I want to be responsible a responsible citizen. Can you give me an idea of what I might be able to give you if I were giving you a gift, and I wanted there to be zero waste with it?

Morgan: So my mom doesn’t watch this segment. She has a jean jacket that she’s worn a hole in the elbow on, and so I plan to take that and I’m not a seamstress myself. So I’m gonna take that to a local tailor and have them put a patch on it so that it looks as good as new.