With all the presents, parties and delicious food, we love the holidays. Our planet? Not so much. This time of year can produce a lot of waste and be a burden on our planet. But it doesn’t have to. Here are a few ways you can reduce waste this holiday season without ruining your holiday cheer.
Don’t get quite so many gifts
Time to take a good, hard look at your holiday shopping list. Do you really need to get your boyfriend’s aunt a Christmas gift? Probably not. That girlfriend you kind of fell out of touch with? Probably not. Your landlady? Definitely not. Trimming down your list will not only save you money, it will save those scented bath sets and candles you were going to get them from ending up in landfill.
Give the gift of experience
For the people on your list that definitely deserve a gift this holiday season, why not give them an experience gift instead? You can keep it simple, like dinner at a restaurant you think they would love, or something more personal, like tickets to see their favourite band.
Get more eco-friendly gifts
If you really want your friends and family to have something to unwrap on Christmas morning, get them a gift that is made of eco-friendly materials, like wood, cotton, hemp, bamboo or soy instead of plastic, and comes in as little packaging as possible. Not sure what to get them? Check out our eco-friendly gift guide.
Skip the boxes, bags and bows
All those boxes, bags and bows under the tree might be reusable but, because they contain plastic coatings, most can’t be recycled, so they’re going to end up in landfill eventually. If you just can’t celebrate the holidays without those bright, colourful presents under the tree, find some wrapping paper that can actually be recycled, like from Wrappily or Fishlips.
Send biodegradable Christmas cards
Sending cards to friends and family is a holiday tradition that many love but, like those boxes, bags and bows, most cards contain plastic and can’t be recycled. Not only are the cards from Botanical Paperworks and Green Field Paper Company recyclable but they’re actually biodegradable and are even embedded with wildflower seeds, so come spring, your friends and family can plant your seasons greetings in their gardens.
Get secondhand decorations
When you think “secondhand Christmas decorations” you might think of bent stars and broken strings of lights but you wouldn’t believe all the garlands, wreaths, tree ornaments and other holiday decorations you can find that are still in great condition. Most of the decorations you find in secondhand stores were bought at HomeSense or Bouclair just a couple seasons ago and we promise no one will be able to tell otherwise!
Get creative with your holiday leftovers
With so many of us going into feast mode during the holidays, it’s easy to end up with too much food in your fridge, but food waste is a serious issue, so don’t toss those leftovers! Roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, casseroles and other sides can be used to make sandwiches, soups, salads and grain bowls, so get creative.