Over the holidays, each Canadian throws away about 50 kilos of waste, which is 25% more compared to other times. It is devastating to know that the number keeps climbing each year, but does that mean we cannot celebrate Christmas now? Well, it's not practical to stop celebrating, but there are things we can do (effortlessly) to help reduce waste this season!
1. Sustainable Packaging
If you have lightly-used wrapping paper at home, try reusing it rather than purchasing new paper. Other options include using recyclable wrapping paper such as kraft paper. It is the best choice to avoid gift wrappings with glitter, velvet, or foil that are difficult to recycle.
2. Purchase Sustainably Made and Good Quality Gifts
Gifts that are good quality help your purse in the long run. Cheap and low-quality gifts wear out much faster and create more waste. Most importantly, gift something you know the person wants and will use; else, the gift will sit around somewhere in the house and remain unused. That’s still generating waste and using up resources.
3. Reusable Decorations
Choose holiday decorations consciously - the ones made from eco-friendly materials like glass, wood, metal, fabric, or clay. Try to avoid decorations made of plastic because they are not as durable as other materials and are much more unsustainable.
4. Recycle Whenever Possible
When throwing away unwanted items, such as gift boxes, electronics, Christmas trees, and lighting, try to recycle them as much as possible by looking for a facility that accepts them. Waste Wizard is very handy for people living in the GTA!
5. Reduce Holiday Food Waste
We plan out all our Christmas dinners and parties by listing grocery lists. It helps to reduce buying unnecessary food, keeps us organized, and makes shopping less time-consuming. However, if you find leftovers after the holidays, the best way to ensure that nothing goes to waste is to gift untouched food to your local food shelter.
6. Save Energy With LED Lights
LED lights can last seven times longer and require only 25% energy compared to regular light bulbs. They are also cheaper and last longer. Another tip to save energy (and money) is to turn off holiday lighting during the daytime to reduce energy consumption.
We know it is impossible to generate absolutely no waste, but small actions to reduce waste can build up to become something meaningful and impactful to our planet. Do not drive yourself crazy; just keep a more environmentally-conscious mindset and enjoy this time with your family and loved ones!