Wondering how to reduce waste during the Christmas season? Christmas is just around the corner and the festivities are in full swing! There’s a lot of pressure at this time of year to overspend and over consume on things we wouldn’t normally.
According to Zero Waste Canada, 545,000 tonnes of waste is generated from gift- wrapping and shopping bags each year in Canada alone, and Canadians use 6 million rolls of tape to wrap up Christmas presents every year!
Christmas is the time of giving, but it’s also full of waste. Household waste can increase more than 25% in the holiday season which puts more pressure on landfills and the environment.
As the world continues to move towards more sustainable living and processes, it’s important to consider how we can contribute ourselves, starting at home.
We have put together a short list of ways to reduce Christmas waste and create a more sustainable environment!
- Utilize your leftovers.
Food leftovers can often be immediately thrown away. However, leftovers can be given to neighbors, family members or friends, even foodbanks. Keep gift wrap each year and reuse it, or use recycled paper to wrap your gifts and leftovers in.
- Compost peelings and leftover raw veggies and fruit.
Always wanted to start your own vegetable patch? Get a head start and compost your leftover ‘unusable’ vegetable scraps and come spring, you’ll be ready to plant new goodness and grow from your own leftovers!
- Recycle your Christmas tree.
Buying a real tree every year that loses its needles right before Christmas? Invest in an artificial tree that can last for years to come and be passed down to the next generation.
- Fix and reuse broken fairy lights.
Instead of buying new fairy lights every year, repair the ones you have! If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, ask an expert who can help. Fairy lights aren’t just for Christmas though, they can be used all year round to create a cozy environment!
- Make a shopping list and only buy what you need.
This is one of the hardest things- Christmas can create a panic that we won’t have enough and a mentality that we need to ‘stock up’ on things we wouldn’t normally buy. Take a step back, go through it as a family and make a list of things that you know you all like and will realistically eat/use. Not only will you be saving on waste, but you’ll be saving money too.
- Buy reusable items.
When purchasing gifts or even things for the house, consider whether they are reusable. For example, if you are buying a tub of holiday chocolates, are they in a cardboard box or a metal tin? The metal tin could be reusable storage for things around the house.
- Buy items with less packaging.
It feels impossible to get away from plastic packaging, it is everywhere. Small businesses tend to use more eco-friendly packaging and less packaging than big corporations. Check out your local farmers/craft market to see what gift ideas are available there.
Have a look around your house and see what potential gift ideas you have there that could be upcycled. A plain wooden chair that’s never been used and is just hanging it around? Jazz it up with some paint or accessories and gift it to someone for Christmas- it might just become their new favorite thing!
Anything and everything you can, recycle it. Check on the packaging if it can be recycled or not. If it can’t, figure out whether it could be used for another purpose or not. Donate to charity shops and think smart about your waste.
There we have it. Tips to reduce your Christmas waste, but that could be applied all year round! We hope this was helpful and that you have a wonderful holiday season.