This December, let’s green our gifting

Big Moves

Whistler is Making BIG MOVES for our Climate. When we act together, small steps become BIG MOVES

Whistler’s Climate Action BIG MOVES Strategy identifies the six most impactful action areas we need to focus on as a community to reduce emissions and make Whistler a more climate resilient community. We all have a role to play! The RMOW, in partnership with Whistler’s environmental charity AWARE, has created Small Steps for BIG MOVES: 12 months of climate actions we can each take to support Whistler’s six BIG MOVES.

TAKE ACTION! This December, let’s:

Green our gifting 

Opting to gift experiences or make mindful shopping decisions helps BIG MOVE #6: Close the loop and shift toward lower carbon consumption. 

Gifting experiences is a thoughtful way to share something meaningful to you. It can also be a fun way to experience all that our local area has to offer. If you do choose to gift something tangible, there are plenty of options for sustainable gifting, from shopping local to gift swaps and zero-waste wrapping alternatives.

Luckily, in the Sea to Sky, the opportunities for memorable experiences are seemingly limitless. From artful experiences with local creatives to sky high adrenaline-pumping adventures or simply sharing a slice of nature, Whistler is an experiential gifter’s dream.

Big moves 6

Ready to take action? Let’s try one (or some) of these Small Steps for BIG MOVES:


From personal gestures like pet-sitting teaching someone a skill to group activities like classes, tours or escape rooms, there’s an option for every budget. The only limits are our imagination. There’s also plenty of events, theatre or sporting events to gift tickets to.

Get a creative nudge:


If you’ve got a shopping list, think first about buying from a Whistler maker or a Whistler small business owner.

Be sure to check out local vendors and businesses:


Challenge your group to swap only experiences or repurposed goods. You will be amazed by the meaningful exchanges that arise.


The go-to zero waste wrap option is most often classic newspaper but don’t stop there. Creative use of old clothing, cloths, greeting cards, glossy magazines and foraged foliage all make great gift wrap.

Get inspired by:

What We Heard ~ Stories Shared 

Check out these small steps for BIG MOVES that some of our community members have taken: 

  • Mandy used her daughter’s artwork to make cards and wrap presents this holiday season, lending every gift an extra special personal touch. 
  • Nina wanted to normalize thrifting and gifting second hand items for her family. She left a box out under the tree and in the run up to Christmas, her kids chose some of their toys they were ready to pass on and filled the box for Santa to take and distribute to other children. Her kids also understood that Santa might bring second-hand or used toys to them from other children in exchange. What a beautiful idea, Nina ~ thank you for sharing and we hope it catches on in Whistler and beyond! 
  • Stephanie used cloth bags instead of wrapping paper, re-used gift bags and turned damaged paper Christmas bags into gift tags. 
  • Cathy gave her adult children an avalanche training course at Kees and Claire’s Hut as a Christmas gift – and she registered for the course herself, too! This unique gift turned out to be a special bonding opportunity for this local mom and her grownup kids,  spending time together on a local, self-propelled educational trip. What a wonderful gift that created lifelong skills, beautiful  family memories – and no waste!

We invite you to share your stories about your small steps for BIG MOVES every month. There’s a chance to win some great prizes if you submit a story! Have a look at our January theme:

Find Out Why Our Festivities Need to be Greener with these Quick Facts:

  • Much of this excess waste is from packaging, wrapping paper, cards and food waste
  • Canadians create 540,000 tonnes of waste from gift wrapping and gift bags over the course of a year. That’s the equivalent of about four CN Towers!

It is reported that annually 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases are produced by rotting trees after the festive period. This can be avoided by ensuring holiday trees are properly recycled or reused.

Surveys show that experiential purchases made with the primary intention of acquiring a life experience made participants happier than material purchases. Experiences also give the gift of lasting relationships. Experiments examining gift exchanges in real-life relationships reveal that experiential gifts produce greater improvements in relationship strength than material gifts

Local restaurants re-circulate even more: 68%! A 10% shift to shopping at local businesses creates, 14,150 jobs and 4.3 billion dollars for B.C.’s economy.

There are plenty of upcycled options, from vintage clothing and cloths, to glossy magazines and  newspapers.