How to have a low-waste holiday!
The holiday season is finally here, and with that comes a range of festivities, from holiday shopping and decorating, to gift-wrapping and baking. While these activities seem fun and harmless, they are also responsible for the peak in landfill waste.
Zero Waste Canada, an advocacy group based in Vancouver, estimates that each Canadian will throw away around 50 kilograms of garbage over the holidays. This waste comes from the purchase of 3,000 tonnes of foil, 2.6 billion Christmas cards and six million rolls of tape. Additionally, 540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper and gift bags are thrown out each year. By being more eco-conscious, we can prevent garbage and promote sustainability. Not only is this the season of giving, but also the season of reducing and reusing!
Here are some tips to become more environmentally conscious and reduce your waste this holiday season:
- Gift a donation or experience instead of a material item.
- Buy secondhand decorations, or get creative with DIY crafts to make your own.
- Use LED holiday lights, which use 80 per cent less energy and last longer than incandescent lights. Make sure to look for the ENERGY STAR designation on the box.
- Cut down on waste by reusing gift bags, boxes, wrapping paper and decor.
- Or, opt for alternative gift wrapping, such as non-disposable materials like burlap, cloth or fabric. Traditional wrapping paper cannot be recycled in the City of Winnipeg due to the high amount of dye content.
- Prevent food waste. Make sure to carefully plan meals, take home tasty leftovers or compost the rest of your holiday feast!