Did you know we have an entire SHHS purchasing team? The SHHS Purchasing, or “Procurement,” team are 5 awesome humans who manage SHHS’s major contracts with suppliers, work directly with those suppliers, and handle orders for everything from major equipment to furniture, food, and fleet vehicles—along with goods and services. If it involves outreach to a supplier, they manage it. Plus, they help keep SHHS operations as sustainable as possible!

Drawing on that incredible wealth of knowledge, our “Purchasing Elves” have put together this fun holiday purchasing guide to help you keep the holiday season easy on the earth – and your your bank account!

Who is SHHS Purchasing?

Vicki Wakefield
Purchasing Manager

Paula McCready
Senior Procurement Officer

Billie Sandhu
Procurement Officer

Vasya Molnar
Procurement Officer

Maria Domingo
Purchasing Assistant

The Gift Guide

It’s easy to get carried away with purchases over the holidays, but less really is more! Here are a few rules and resources to keep the holidays in check.

Quality over quantity: We know, it’s hard to find stuff that lasts, but it’s out there! Stick to stores that sell quality goods and have a solid return policy—to get that one gift that counts.

Go offline: Amazon might make things easy with 1-click shopping, but don’t be fooled, there’s a big environmental cost. Try shopping locally this year!

Give the gift of giving: It turns out that giving back is good for our mental health; it’s also good for the planet. Try giving to a charity or to a cause you know your family member or friend cares about.

Wrap up on wrapping paper: Ditch those rolls of wrapping paper, and, in particular, avoid glossy or metallic gift wrap. Instead, try fabric gift wrap or these creative gift wrap ideas.

Find more ways to keep your holidays sustainable and meaningful with these green gift giving tips.

Are you purchasing something for SHHS?

Make sure you contact SHHS Purchasing for support! They’re here to help you manage the purchasing process and make the best choices—from budget, supplier, and sustainability perspectives. Reach out to anyone on the team for assistance!

The Decorating Guide

Trees: If your celebrations include a Christmas tree, you might be wondering whether a real tree or a fake tree is better for the environment. Well…that’s a complicated story. It depends what your fake tree is made of, how it was manufactured, and how long you use it for. But using a living tree might just be the best option of all!

Ornaments: Like with gifts, choose quality over quantity. Buy durable ornaments made from wood, metal, or cloth, which will last much longer than plastic or thin glass.

Decorations: The same goes for decorations. Skip cheap, plastic decorations and go for lasting, quality decorations. Or bring the outdoors inside with natural, handmade decorations

Lights & electronic displays: Even if you’re no Clark Griswold, you can keep your electricity use (and your hydro bill) down by putting all your lights on timers, using LED lighting, and taking some time to replace burnt out bulbs rather than tossing a whole strand of lights.

“When I needed Fair Trade chocolate bars for our retail locations during UBC’s Fair Trade Campus Week, Billie helped me source Camino chocolate, on time and within my budget, and Maria helped process the payments. The Purchasing team rocks!”

Juliana Campbell

Outreach and Events Coordinator, Food Services

The Food Guide

Turkey: Skip the industrially-produced turkey at the supermarket and go online to find a local butcher shop or farmer selling heritage turkeys or grass-fed, organically-raised turkeys instead. Better yet, make your holiday dinner meatless, which will also keep your meal costs down.

Disposables: Having a big gathering? If you don’t have enough dishes and cutlery, get your guests to bring their own, or borrow some from a friend or neighbour, instead of choosing disposable, single-use products. Don’t worry if it doesn’t all match!

Beverages: Avoid individual-sized beverages where possible. Keep pitchers of water on-hand, make large batches of hot chocolate, iced tea, or even eggnog—or invest in that Soda Stream you always wanted. Good thing that wine still comes in boxes, right?! 🍷

Waste sorting: Remember, you might know where your compost is located, and what goes in it, but your guests probably won’t, especially if they’re from out of town. Keep a clearly marked waste system, so food waste from dinner doesn’t end up heading to the landfill.

Happy Holidays from the SHHS Purchasing Team!

Vicki, Paula, Billie, Vasya, and Maria