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Zero Waste Holiday Guide

all three gifts

At this time of year, it can be hard to stay focused on waste reduction and making sustainable choices. Our time and wallets are stretched thin, and our desires can often outweigh our needs.

In October, we already covered many ways to entertain while keeping zero-waste practices in mind, and you can refresh your memory here to help plan your holiday get togethers. 

When it comes to gift giving this season, here are a few ideas that put waste reduction and sustainable practices at the forefront:

Upcyled produce, bulk and bread bags:

You can save thousands of plastic pull bags per year just by making this simple switch. You can easily craft your own out of thrifted materials, or pick them up from a local source like HedgePodge on Etsy. The best thing about these? No gift bag is needed! You can use them to wrap other items like stainless steel mugs, a travel cutlery set, and more!

Sustainable bath and beauty products:

Many beauty and hygiene companies are producing package free or plastic free items that use sustainably sourced, natural ingredients. Ditch the cello-wrapped bath bombs and plastic bottled lotions in favour of options like this , or come to our workshop on December 11th to create a custom facial toner and reusable cotton rounds.

Time and experiences:

Our most precious commodity is a non-renewable resource. Time is the one thing we all have in a finite amount. One of the most valuable ways to show someone you care, both during the holidays and year-round, is to share your time with them. This could mean taking someone to a concert, play , or workshop.

Time may also be something as simple as preparing a loved one dinner or helping a neighbor clear their driveway after a big snowfall – and it doesn’t hurt to throw in a homemade mason jar hot chocolate as a sign of appreciation – you can pick up the ingredients using your newly crafted bulk bags!

Fix it First:

You may also have an item in your household that is in need of repair, and our “Santa’s Workshop” Repair Cafe is arriving just in the St-Nick of time for holiday gifting – have an item repaired for free and keep them going for the holiday season and beyond. 


At the Guelph Tool Library, we believe in allowing everyone access to tools, supplies and information. A tool library membership is a gateway to over 500 tools. This season, we are offering memberships and packages at a special rate through our Indiegogo  campaign, a crowdfunding platform that is helping us fundraise for an exciting new project. In 2019, we will be purchasing specialized creator kits for video production, podcasting, robotics, and even backyard chicken hatching! By supporting this campaign, you are allowing us to broaden both our community reach, and our inventory.

Supporting local:

The Guelph Tool Library is taking part in two local, last minute Holiday markets this season. We will have memberships and limited-edition swag available at the Merry Maker Night Market, at the Guelph Farmers Market on Wednesday, December 19th from 5 to 9 pm. We are hosting our Holiday Open House on Friday, November 21st  during the Two Rivers Last-Minute Shopping Market, on-site at Tytler School, 131 Ontario Street, which will feature all local vendors selling food and handmade products. 

We will be closed for the Holiday Season from December 22nd – January 7th. All tools borrowed within the week of December 17th will be extended until we reopen on January 7th! We hope you have a safe and happy holiday full of sharing!

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