1125-gai-banner-300x600Whether you plan to go all out Black Friday shopping or keep things low key, GO All In offers up a cartload of great ideas to help you reduce holiday waste and make merry with less “stuff.” Here’s our top 10 list for ways to infuse more meaning – and less trash – into this special time of year.

Thanks to the University of Northern Iowa and the Reclaim Your Holidays program for their awesome ideas, included here.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s GO!

  1. REDUCE, reuse, recycle. Let’ delve into this little thing we know as the three Rs. Did you know that REDUCE comes first for a reason? Yup. Even better than recycling and reusing is not purchasing something you don’t need in the first place. Kinda puts perspective on that $5 “doorbuster deal” that will sit languishing in the closet come January, doesn’t it?
  1. Give the gift of experience. Studies show that people remember things they DO better than stuff they GET. Want proof? Think of the best day you had this year, spent with someone you love. Now try to remember three material items you received as presents. SEE? Instead of a plastic toy for your niece or nephew this year, how about tickets to the movies or the zoo? Then make plans to take them. Check it out!
  1. Secondhand, baby. That’s right. When you visit vintage, antique and second-hand shops for gifts, you’ll find things that the big box retailers just can’t offer. Better yet, most of the time you’ll be supporting a small business. So diversify what you buy, and ease the load on our natural resources. Here’s your guide!
  1. Make, give, eat. Consumable gifts you make yourself show you care. So bake a loaf of bread, whip up a batch of bars, and layer a Mason jar with all the dry ingredients for cookies and tie it with a bow. They’ll thank you with their mouths full. Get ideas here!
  1. Recycle right. Think of it as a gift to Mother Nature herself. Get the scoop on what goes into you recycling cart—and what doesn’t—and make it your mission to educate everyone gathered ‘round the tree. Get the skinny!
  1. Get philosophical. Deep breath, peeps, we’re gonna reach with this one. Do you want more meaning and less stress this season? It may be time to turn down the carols for a second and think. What really matters to you? Find out by reading this!
  1. Write it out. Grab a notebook and head to the nearest coffee shop. Treat yourself to something delish and set about your task in a quiet corner: Telling the one you love, in writing, why you’re thankful for them. Get tips for writing a letter of gratitude here!
  1. Watch this uplifting video. Think the kids want more stuff? Think again—and pass the tissues, please!
  1. Waste less food. Plan your meals, purchase only what you need, and eat leftovers till they’re gone—or send them home with guests! The US EPA provides some excellent information on food waste here!
  1. Enter our contest. You could win a $50 gift card!