‘Tis the season for bright festive lights, eggnog, candy canes, Santa Claus, celebrations with our loved ones and creating new memories. Many of us celebrate by exchanging gifts with our family and friends, which can produce a lot of waste. Have you ever given or received a gift that has so much excess packaging you actually need to use tools to get to the gift? And then, it may need batteries that will have to be properly disposed. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to have a ‘green’ Christmas.
If you are still looking for the perfect gift for those on your list, Metro Vancouver has come up with a brilliant campaign called Create memories, not garbage. They have graciously allowed us to use some of their images and ideas in this post.
Within Metro Vancouver’s Create memories, not garbage website are gift suggestions under the categories of experiences, gifts that last, make your own, and second-hand gifts.
They also have great ideas for waste free wrapping that include using reusable materials, wrapping without wrapping paper, and ideas to package food gifts. If you want to give someone the gift of your time, such as snow shovelling, babysitting, etc., you can also create your own gift card using four different templates.
Tips on green decorating and reducing food waste are also included.
Finally, you are encouraged to highlight how you are making this season special while reducing waste through social media by posting on Facebook and Twitter using #CreateMemoriesNotGarbage.
If you want to wrap your presents in an eco-friendly manner but don’t have the time to wrap them, you’re in luck. BurlingtonGreen, a local non-profit environmental group, is once again offering this service at the Burlington MEC store on weekends in December from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Dec. 24. BurlingtonGreen’s hand decorated gift bags are recycled and also reusable, recyclable and/or compostable and their gift tags are made from maple wood off-cuts.
While it’s not easy to create a waste free holiday, you can do your part to make sure that whatever waste you create is put in the right place. If you are not sure which bin to use, please visit Halton Region’s user friendly “Put Waste in its Place” tool and type in a keyword. By doing so, you will find out that while gift bags are reusable, damaged ones have to be placed in the garbage; tissue paper goes in the GreenCart; and wrapping paper goes in the garbage because “the dyes or coating used in the paper negatively impact our ability to recycle it.”
Take Action Burlington. Collectively we can reduce our waste this season and make a difference!