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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Rethinking Holiday Giving

Many of us are looking for ideas to make our holidays less stressful, less wasteful and more meaningful.  The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability launched the Be Resourceful campaign to inspire Portlanders to “get more of the good stuff” in their lives. By shifting priorities and focusing on more experiences over stuff, we can enjoy healthier lifestyles and more time with friends and family.

The campaign links you to others who have shared their stories and to local resources in four categories: sharing things we need, maintaining the things we have, creative purchasing, and a shift toward experiences over stuff. This is our chance to think differently about how we shop and be creative about the way we give to others. By supporting local businesses and artists, we conserve our natural resources while celebrating the holiday spirit in a unique way.

Looking for ways to shift your thinking and purchasing around holiday giving?

Thoughtful consumption allows us to look at everyday choices and purchases that reflect our values and to consider the upstream costs of goods and services. By making small changes in everyday choices about purchasing goods and services, we can significantly lower our carbon footprint and create more local jobs.


  • Consider giving a gift of experience or a local service.

  • Discover creative, efficient ways to acquire the stuff we need.

  • Buy for value, durability and utility.

  • Spend more time with family and friends.

  • Support Portland’s arts, crafts and restaurant communities.

Get More of the Good Stuff in the Kitchen this Holiday Season

  • Eat Unprocessed Foods - Especially Fruits, Vegetables and Grains: Make sustainable food choices. Take advantage of the delicious food available locally: pears, apples, hazelnuts, and much more.
  • Reduce Wasted Food: Consider your guest list when preparing or ordering food so you’ll have the food people most enjoy in the right quantities.
  • Practice Good Food Preservation Techniques: Fruits and vegetables that you canned yourself make special gifts.
  • Buy Durable and Used Goods for the Kitchen: Reusable cloth napkins and durable plates and silverware make holiday meals special. Ask guests to bring their own containers to take home leftovers.
  • Prepare and Eat Meals Together at Home: Ask friends to help prepare food and then serve it family-style.
  • Grow and Share Your Food: If you have a winter garden, share your bounty with friends and family.
  • Reduce Packaging Related to Food: Control the clutter by bringing tote bags to the store, using durable containers and eating less processed foods.

Do you have holiday stories and ideas?

Share them at


Green Gift Guide

The Chinook Book Green Gift Guide offers you a range of ideas and choices for creating meaningful holiday memories. Shop local and for gifts of experience.