Create memories, not garbage

Alternative Christmas tree. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.
Alternative Christmas tree. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.

‘Tis the season for festive lights, gatherings with friends and family, and creating new memories. Many of us celebrate by exchanging gifts, 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 it out of the package? And then, it may need batteries that will have to be properly disposed. Thankfully there are many things you can do to have a ‘green’ Christmas so please read on …

What not to do. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.
What not to do. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.

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.

Metro Vancouver’s Create memories, not garbage website has gift suggestions including experiences, gifts that last, make your own, and second-hand gifts.

Monthly family surprise activity. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.
Monthly family surprise activity. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.

They also have great ideas for wrapping gifts that include alternatives to wrapping paper and tips 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 three different templates.

Wrap without tape. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.
Wrap without tape. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.

Tips on green decorating and reducing food waste are also included.

Borrowing from nature. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.
Borrowing from nature. Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver.

If you have ideas to make this season special while reducing waste, share them 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.

BurlingtonGreen's eco-friendly packaging. Image courtesy of BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association.
BurlingtonGreen’s eco-friendly packaging. Image courtesy of BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association.

While it’s not easy to create a waste free holiday, do your part to put waste in the right place. Not sure what goes where? Use Halton Region’s easy-to-use “Put Waste in its Place” tool. #FunWasteFacts: Gift bags are reusable but damaged ones have to go 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!

This post was first published in December 2016. It has been updated and reposted because, like Santa, we checked this off our list twice.

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