Christmas is often a time of excessive spending, packaging and consumption so let us offer our tips on a greener, more environmentally conscious holiday time. Challenge yourself. How small can your eco-footprint be this year?
Guest Post by Amber Bosma
It’s unlikely you give and receive no gifts at Christmas, so why not reduce the clutter in your home and make room for Christmas? Before your house fills with even more stuff, sell unwanted items online and make some spending dollars. If it can’t be sold, donate to your local thrift store. Save it from the landfill!
2. Gift Giving
Many of the items on sites like Usedeverywhere.com kijiji or craigslist are new and unused. If you have specific items in mind, search your local site before buying in a store. In cases like this, search the brand or item name.
” I just bought a brand new EduToys rock tumbler for my son for Christmas – new in stores, $80… but I got it for $15 from Used! Anyways, just wanted to share. The site is so valuable – helps people save money at Christmas, helps people earn money at Christmas, saves packaging and less waste… and no tax! Love it!” UsedVictoria.com user, Heather, via email.
3. Buy Gently Used Gifts
Some may gag at the idea of giving used items as gifts, whereas others will embrace the idea of saving dollars and eliminating packaging and tax. Regifting for the world!
4. Christmas Trees
Buy your plastic Christmas tree used, or this year consider an alternative Christmas tree made from upcycled materials. If you are a real Christmas tree lover, source a real Christmas tree.
5. Excess Packaging
Eliminate excess waste by shunning wrapping paper this year. Use scarves, fabric scraps, old books and maps to design beautiful gift wrap and tags with a more personal touch.
6. We’re up all Night to get Crafty
Making your own gifts can save a lot of money. Using pre-loved items for an upcycled gift also saves items from the landfill. Look to craft blogs for inspiration. This old dollshouse DIY is another great example of taking an old unwanted item and making it personalized and good as new.
7. Christmas Card Waste
A great idea to eliminate excess waste is to donate to a charity in lieu of Christmas cards. Offer an electronic card to your nearest and dearest and let them know which charity you contributed to this year. If you love to send cards, recycle last year’s received cards with the help of some crafty supplies.
Buy quality seasonal decor that can be used year in year out. Buy used where you can, bags of decorations are usually available in thrift stores like Value Village and Rennaissance, and online on UsedEverywhere.com, kijiji or craigslist. Look to nature for inspiration and let children use their great imaginations to turn pinecones, leaves, feathers and more into pretty decor. When considering lights, think about using energy efficient options and turn them off when you sleep and are out of the house.
When buying gifts new and when ticking off your grocery list, try and buy local. Support your community vendors at the same time as aiming for carbon neutral purchases. Leave the disposable tableware behind, recycle your empties and plan ahead to eliminate food waste. If you do have scraps, compost!
10. Party Party
Our top tips for parties include reusable tableware, shared or public transport, electronic invites, doggy bags for leftover food, recycling bottles and food containers, and organic food and drink choices where cost and selection allows.
Incorporate even one or two of these tips into your holiday traditions and it is a step towards a more environmentally conscious Christmas.