Using Upcycling to Shop for Christmas Gifts

As a long time user of Kijiji, I was interested to receive a submission idea from them with respect to how things like trading, recycling or upcycling over the holiday shopping period can have a positive environmental impact.  The following article has been supplied to me by Kijiji and offers some great Enviro Tips from their own perspective with regards to holiday purchases.


(From  Ever wonder about the impact the holidays have on the environment? Well, Kijiji did and decided to do some homework.

ccording to 2011 research from the folks over at Smart Planet and Ethical Ocean, holiday toys can account for nearly 70 million tons of carbon from initial production and packaging to disposal.

The good news is that according to a recent global online study of consumer behaviour by Kijiji, more than 650 million people worldwide reported exchanging goods for cash online. If trends like these continue, they will help to lessen the impact of buying and selling on our environment.

The study also found that the average Canadian threw away 16.7 items last year that they could have sold or traded. Not only is that bad for the planet but also the bank account.  

Trading, recycling or upcycling new and used goods are all great ways for people to reduce their carbon footprint instead of buying from conventional retail environments. Online classifieds sites, like, are a great way to save money on items you are looking to purchase. You can find great deals on toys, electronics and furniture that might otherwise end up in the the garbage.

Kijiji Canada has come up with some tips on how to be more eco-friendly this holiday season.

Kijiji’s Green Holiday Tips

  • Shopping at major chains and department stores that use ground transport  and over packaging has a significant impact on the planet. New items can be found using online classifieds sites like Kijiji, often at a much lower cost. Click here for the list of most popular searches.
  • Gift wrapping doesn’t have to be store-bought foil paper with a synthetic bow. Use plain brown paper tied with raffia and a holly sprig. Or have fun with newspaper by using the comic section and fold it accordion style into a bow.
  • Think outside of the box when decorating. Use natural items like cranberries, popcorn and pine cones to give your home a festive feel . Not only will they have a lesser impact on the planet, but also your wallet.
  • Send e-cards instead of paper cards this season. Family and friends can access your holiday messages and photos at the click of a button, saving trees and reducing carbon emissions from delivery.
  • Find things that are “new to you.” Vintage-inspired items are a huge trend this holiday season, so why not give a unique gift that you can’t find in-store – true vintage finds have a “new to you” appeal. Swapping or selling toys with other families is another great way to get something that is new to your family – young children don’t love a toy because it came out of packaging, they love it because it is new to them.


Eric Novak

About Eric Novak

Eric Novak is a father of 4 who also thinks that environmental stewardship is a requisite of parenting. He's not a professional Dad nor is he an environmental scientist, but he's someone who gives a damn and is trying to make the right decisions as he lives his life as a father, environmentalist and business owner. Eric and his wife Karen have 4 children and reside in Ajax, Ontario.