4 Last-Minute Zero-Waste Gifts That Make You Appear Creative Instead of Disorganized

There's no time for subtitles, Christmas is coming.

As someone who used to work in retail, I can tell you that there is no one easier to sell $20 mid-grade bubble bath to than a panicked Christmas Eve shopper. Last-minute shopping is stressful, impersonal and often expensive. And surprise surprise, that cousin you forgot about won’t care that you traded your firstborn to get her a generic seasonal candle. But in Vancouver, there’s lots of last-minute gifts you can purchase that also happen to be zero-waste. This year, give experiences—they’re thoughtful, eco-friendly and often support the arts. Win-win-win, and you don’t even have to get off the couch.

1. National Geographic Live Tickets

This gift is zero-waste and educational, so yeah, you are basically the Greta of the family. Birds of Paradise is a live show featuring Ed Scholes (an ornithologist and evolutionary biologist) and Tim Laman (a wildlife photojournalist). It explores the secret lives of 39 bird species who live in New Guinea, crazy courtship antics included. Tickets are $40 from Ticketmaster.

2. A Pass to Formation Studio

I know what you’re thinking: “I am not buying anyone anything exercise-related, I saw what happened to the #PelotonHusband.” You’ve got a point—but a Freedom class at Formation Studio feels more like a dance party than an exercise class, and it’s something that you and your friend/cousin/barista can do together. If a passive aggressive plea for weight loss is what you were after, you won’t find it here. Nothing like some Beyonce-fueled zero-waste bonding time. Gift cards are available from $20, you can find them here.

3. Tickets to the VSO

A night at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is a great opportunity to check out our local classical music scene and to dress up a little. (Is a cape an appropriate accessory for the symphony? We think so!) Their new trio passes allow you to catch three shows of your choosing for $99. It’s a zero-waste way to show your commitment—marriage is so yesterday.

4. A Workshop at Homeroom

Get artsy and buy that special someone (or forgettable no-one) a workshop at Homeroom, which provides school-themed workshops in subjects like shop class and home economics (think triangle shelf woodworking and DIY beeswax wraps) plus hangouts around the city. The community-building events and workshops are just like high school, except now being yourself is cool and everyone knows how to do their eyebrows properly. Check out their $5-$10 schedule here.