Make this Christmas zero waste

It's that time of year again when we spend a lot of money to give the people we love things they don't need (and often times don't even want). Zero waste gift giving is a great alternative to traditional gifting by creating an intention for the holiday season. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

1. Donate to charity.  My parents love animals. Every year I make a donation in their name to the local animal shelter and print out the certificate of donation with a handwritten note on it in lieu of a card.  It has become our tradition and now they do the same for me and it helps out animals in need. (Find other zero waste ways to help shelters here). 
2.  Make a gift.  Last year, I made my whole family candles, lip balms, and handmade ornaments from repurposed materials. These are gifts they still talk about. 
3. Plan a day trip or weekend getaway for you and a loved one. Experiences are highly sought after gifts because you get to spend time with one another while potentially doing something new or exploring a new place.  
4. Buy secondhand.  If the person really needs or even wants something, see if you can find it second hand first. Try local second hand/consignment shops, Craigslist or other online resale sites. 
5. Do a 'white elephant' exchange.  Instead of getting something for everyone, get one thing for just one person.  This will cut down on waste and unnecessary spending. Need ideas?  Try this list.