The holidays are a joyful time of year, but not the most environmentally friendly. Because the festive season is naturally full of the generosity of spirit and goodwill towards all, it’s easy to lose sight of the holidays’ potentially damaging effects like excess waste production. There’s no need to pile on the problem with your own holiday season waste. Here are our top 5 ways to reduce holiday waste during the festive season.
Go reusable for gift wrap
Who says you have to use traditional, and wasteful, gift wrapping materials like wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue paper? There are more eco-friendly and reusable ways ( read here) to package holiday gifts that are just as attractive. In Japan, there is a beautiful fabric wrapping tradition called Furoshiki. Watch this short video tutorial from Marie Kondi to learn how to beautifully wrap your gifts in reusable pieces of fabric. You won’t believe how beautiful it can be!
Reinvent your holiday meal leftovers
Many of us tend to really overdo it on the holiday meal plan. Whether you’re serving 2 or 10 courses, you may find yourself with an abundance of leftovers. There’s no need to throw them away and there’s no need to get sick of them either! Check out these fabulous recipes that will help you reinvent your holiday leftovers.
Get an artificial tree
If you celebrate the Christmas holiday, it may be time to end your tradition of buying a fresh Christmas tree. It’s such a waste of resources and the tree itself! As technology advances so do artificial plants and there are many incredibly gorgeous artificial trees out there that you can purchase, store compactly when the holidays are done and dusted, and reuse for many years. Balsam Hill offers incredibly realistic artificial trees, but if you’d rather embrace the artificiality of the tree, why not go bold with a colourful tree like this? You can also find artificial trees in many department stores like Walmart, Ikea, and Canadian Tire.
Send guests home with doggy bags
You’re not the only one who enjoys holiday meal leftovers. If you’re entertaining this holiday season, purchase reusable food containers so you can send your guests home with leftovers in “doggy bags”. If you want to really amp up the eco-friendliness of this game plan, ask your guests to bring their own reusable containers to the party to take home their leftovers. Avoid single-use plastic containers and styrofoam containers for this to stay green.
Gifts can be so hit and miss for family and friends. Instead of giving them something physical that they may never use or simply throw away in the case of a gift card, go digital for more eco-friendly gifts. Explore giving digital gift certificates and cards for the holidays, or talk to your family about forgoing the gift-giving tradition altogether to reduce waste -- your time and love is a gift in and of itself!
Hazelview Properties is partnering with Candice Batista of The Eco Hub to provide tips and tricks on how to reduce waste, recycle common holiday items, and live more sustainably! Read more about Hazelview's Sustainability Policy here, do visit our website too.