Reducing Christmas Waste
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when Canadians tend to generate a significant amount of waste. From gift wrap to packaging, food waste, and disposable decorations, the holiday season often leaves a hefty environmental footprint. However, there are plenty of ways we can celebrate the festive season while minimizing our impact on the planet.
The Wrapping Conundrum
One major contributor to holiday waste is the excessive use of wrapping paper. In Canada, it’s estimated that the country uses enough wrapping paper during the holidays to cover the entire province of Quebec! Instead of contributing to this staggering statistic, consider opting for reusable gift wrap, cloth bags, or even repurposing old newspapers. Not only will this reduce waste, but it adds a unique and personalized touch to your gifts.
Gift with a Purpose
In the spirit of giving, consider giving experiences or consumables rather than material gifts. Whether it’s concert tickets, a cooking class, or a subscription to a streaming service, these gifts create lasting memories without adding to the clutter. For those who enjoy a more hands-on approach, homemade gifts or DIY crafts are thoughtful and often result in less waste than store-bought alternatives.
Decorating our homes is a cherished tradition during the holiday season, but it often involves a considerable amount of waste. Choose eco-friendly decorations such as LED lights, which are energy-efficient, and opt for ornaments made from sustainable materials. Instead of buying new decorations every year, consider reusing and repurposing items you already have or investing in timeless, high-quality pieces that will last for years to come.
Food waste is a significant concern, especially during the holidays when lavish feasts are the norm. Plan your meals carefully to avoid overbuying and consider donating excess food to local charities or composting organic waste. Encourage guests to bring reusable containers for leftovers and explore creative ways to use leftovers in the days following the festivities. Read about Acorn Waste Service’s food waste program.
The Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Embrace the principles of the three R’s throughout the holiday season. Choose products with minimal packaging, and when you do have waste, make sure to recycle responsibly. Encourage guests to bring their own reusable bags, containers, and utensils to reduce single-use plastic waste.
Making Conscious Choices
This holiday season let’s strive for a more sustainable and eco-friendly celebration. By making conscious choices about the gifts we give, the decorations we use, and the way we handle food and packaging, Canadians can significantly reduce their environmental impact. Together, we can make a difference and create a holiday season that is not only joyful but also respectful of our planet. Dream of a green Christmas, and let’s turn those dreams into a reality and feel good about reducing Christmas waste!