Tips on a more environmentally friendly holiday

The Holidays are a great time for friends and family, but a difficult time for the environment.  Below you will find 10 tips to green your holiday and attached is a more detailed guide on what you can do to make this a more environmentally friendly season.

10 Tips to Green Your Holiday

1. Send an e-card rather than a paper card.  Otherwise, send a card printed on 100% post-consumer recycled or FSC certified paper. In Toronto you can contact Grassroots to find holiday card optionsthat are more environmentally friendly.

2. Leave the packaging at the store so the City doesn't have to pay for its collection and the store gets a message about excessive waste generated by their products.

3. Reduce gift wrap by turning the wrapping into a part of the gift, avoiding stickers, labels, ribbons, bows, and tape.

4. Use twine, yarn, newspaper, 100% post-consumer recycled or FSC certified gift wrap.  Also, reuse gift bags and ribbons from last year.

5. A living Christmas tree is the best option.  See a 'how to' video of this online. If you are unable to care for a ‘living’ Christmas Tree, a real Christmas tree harvested from a tree farm in the GTA is the next best option.

6. Decorate your home with popcorn, cranberries, clippings from local evergreens, and traded or reused ornaments through craigslist or freecycle.

7. Time your LED lights so they are only on during peak viewing times and if you are buying new lights, solar powered lights are now available.

8. After the holidays use wreaths and plant ornaments as mulch in your garden, or place them in your green bin.

9. Reduce the amount of store bought items you give out this year and reduce the amount of packaging waste by: giving gift certificates, favours, nights on the town, re-gifting, making homemade gifts, and donations in a friend or family member's name (Shameless plug: You can make donations to the Toronto Environmental Alliance here).

10. When planning for dinner avoid buying packaged food and when you have to, buy something easily recycled, buy in bulk, choose locally-grown options, and encourage guests to carpool or take public transit.

Toronto Environmental Alliance's full Guide to Green Holidays
City of Toronto
Environment Canada
Go Green Online Holiday Guide
Calgary Green Holiday Guide