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As a seasoned minimalist and an aspiring zero-waster, I know that holiday gift giving can be daunting. What do you give someone who doesn’t like a lot of stuff? And what do you give when you’re the one trying to reduce your footprint?

While it might take a bit of thought and planning, it is possible. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Buy secondhand

Pop into secondhand stores like Goodwill Boutique and Second Thought, both on Oak Street in downtown Hood River, or St. Vincent de Paul (W. Ninth Street), Goodwill (W. Sixth Street) and Columbia Gorge ReStore (W. Sixth Street) in The Dalles.

Buying secondhand is a great way to find one of a kind items and to reduce waste (both landfill and that used to process materials).

Canning supplies

Hood River Supply, on the Heights, is canning headquarters for the aspiring — or advanced — canner: Canning jars in all sizes, from quarter-pint to half-gallon, are available, as are water canners and pressure cookers, cherry pitters and sauce strainers. In The Dalles, Fred Meyer and Bi-Mart also carry these items.

You might also consider a batch of homemade cookies (or maybe put in an order at Pine Street Kitchen, Hood River) in a quart or half-gallon jar.

Travel mugs and water bottles

In The Dalles, shops like Fred Meyer and Bi-Mart both carry travel mugs and water bottles in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and are a great gift idea for a sports or outdoor enthusiast, coffee drinker, commuter, or those often on the go. You can also find them in some coffee shops.

In Hood River, these items can be found almost anywhere: In downtown, at Doug’s and Shortt Supply, coffee shops like Ground and Doppio, Hood River Stationers and Waucoma Bookstore. On the Heights, find them at Rosauers, Hood River Coffee Roasters and 10 Speed. Prices vary.

Reusable kitchenware

Rosauers, on the Heights, has a selection of reusable utensil sets ($12.99), zip-lock style pouches ($6.99 to $19.99) and small tote bags ($9.99), perfect for packing a lunch, storing leftovers or bringing groceries home.


Oh, you knew this one was coming, didn’t you? Hood River is home to several local roasters, including Hood River Coffee Roasters, located at 1310 Tucker Road; bring one of those canning jars you bought at Hood River Supply — or get one secondhand at Goodwill in The Dalles — to the front office, where they will tare* and fill it with the beans of your choice.

Prices vary depending on the type of coffee you’re purchasing; see for details.

( *Tare means weighing the jar before filling it, so you only pay for what’s inside.)

Dog River, located on Oak Street in downtown Hood River, sells porcelain pour-over cones for $18 — I have one and I can vouch that it makes a great cup of coffee. I don’t like a lot of clutter on my counters, and this little device is compact, easy to clean and easy to store.

Gift certificates are also available at all coffee shops in any denomination, taking the guesswork out of getting your favorite coffee drinker just the right thing.


Tammy’s Floral, located on the Heights at 1215 12th St., Hood River, has traditional holiday items such as wreaths, centerpieces and tree decorations, as well as a wide variety of indoor house plants — small, tabletop size to large floor plants in unique pots and containers to match any décor.

Good News Gardening, on the Heights at 1086 Tucker Road, also has a variety of plants, pots and tools for those with a green thumb, regardless of space.

If you can’t decide, Tammy’s and Good News Gardening have gift certificates available.

Head — and heart — warmers

Footwise, located on Oak Street in downtown Hood River, has Shepra Adventure Gear hats and handwarmers — handcrafted by women in Nepal. The company’s mission is to “provide economic and social stability” to the region, where the company makes its home, and sales support that mission. The wool handwarmers and hats retail for $35.

Footwise also sells Acorn sheepskin inserts, perfect for upgrading the inside of a favorite pair slippers.

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