Make your white Christmas “greener” by following some of these environmentally friendly holiday season tips!

Shop and ship online. For those of you who are planning to shop, why not shop green? If you are buying gifts for family members out of town, skip a step and have their gift sent directly to their doorstep. If you do plan to head out, plan your trip in such a way that you can save some fuel. Shopping and shipping online saves gas emissions, hassles and time.

BYOB (ag) use reusable shopping bags. The very first item you need for shopping is an eco-friendly reusable shopping bag. Bringing your own bag when you go shopping can have a huge impact on our environment. They help preserve natural resources and keep litter off our streets and in our landfills. The key is to not forget them in the car. Also, say “no thanks” to the extra tissue paper, ribbons and stickers that often accompany your  holiday purchases.

Choose recyclable holiday cards. To make sure your holiday cards can easily be recycled, look for cards without any non-paper embellishments like foil or ribbon. Also, look for cards that contain post-consumer recycled content. Another great option is to use e-cards!

Gift wrapping “green”. Unfortunately, wrapping paper is high in clay content and low in paper content which makes it difficult to recycle. There are all kinds of ways to wrap holiday gifts without using up and throwing out new wrapping paper each year. Get creative and choose reused/reusable alternatives such as newspapers, posters, maps, calendars, fabric, reusable paper or cloth gift bags. Better yet, put your gifts in reusable shopping bags your family can use at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Whatever the case, reuse, reduce and recycle!

Use LED holiday lights.
LED lights use 80% less energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights and can last up to 10 times longer. They are also more durable and shock resistant than other lights because they do not have moving parts, filaments or glass.

Buy products made from recycled materials. Regardless of what you have on your wish list this season, why not ask for items made out of recycled materials or that are eco-friendly? Your choice also shows that you are sincere about buying sustainable and recycled items.

Make your own gifts or donate to a charity. This year, go homemade!  Websites such as Etsy and Pinterest have great gift ideas that will rival anything you’ll find in the department store. If that isn’t your thing, give a gift that will make a difference. Make a donation to a gift recipient’s favourite charity, or commit to volunteering with that organization.  Offer up your own domestic or handyman skills or consider giving no-waste gifts such as sports lessons, memberships to a gym, babysitting services or tickets to a sporting event or concert.

Green food.  The more whole foods you choose this holiday season, the less packaging you’ll use up. Packaging from processed foods is one of the biggest contributors to landfills and whole foods simply come with less. Make the right choice, not only for the environment but also for your waistline.

Use real plates not paper or plastic. No one likes to spend time cleaning up so it’s tempting to use paper and plastic plates and utensils during the holidays. If your goal is to have a greener season, then there’s no time like the holidays to pull out your nice dishes and silverware.

When all else fails, just remember to reduce, reuse and recycle!

By making a few simple changes to your holiday festivities, you can reduce the amount of waste your family produces this year. It’s easier than you imagine and won’t require you to spend a lot of money. So, whatever is on your agenda for this holiday season, always think of ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Simply Recycle!


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