Christmas day is just around the corner, which means that you still have plenty of time to make it a zero waste holiday this year.
During this holiday season, most of us are greeted by thousands of miles of non-recyclable Christmas wrapping paper, tons of (useless) plastic gifts, all kinds of plastic wrappers, and billions of environmentally unfriendly greeting cards that eventually end up in a drawer, or worse, in landfills.
For example, did you know that in Canada only 1% of the Christmas gifts are still in use, 6 months after the holidays, while the other 99% are being discarded? Or that 545,000 tonnes of waste are generated from gift wrapping and shopping bags each year? And that Canadians use 6 million rolls of tape to wrap up Christmas presents every year?
That is a lot of waste. Waste we can avoid by going zero waste.
From Christmas gifts to decorations, there are endless ads that entice us to buy, buy, buy… They all pretend to be the key to a magical Christmas for us and our families.
Of course, we do not need that excess of items to ignite the Christmas spirit! We are here to tell you that it is absolutely possible to have a zero waste Christmas and yet, enjoy every single minute of it.
Remember, Canadian household waste increases by more than 25% in the holiday season. So it is really important to take action to prevent and reduce waste.
5 ways how you can go zero waste this Christmas season without turning into the Grinch.
Reuse last years’ decorations
If you feel you need something extra on your tree, make it yourself. Turn this productive activity into a family event by creating your own decorations from scrap materials and recyclables. This togetherness will essentially turn into a Christmas memory that will last you a lifetime (not only two weeks).
Apply the principle of K.I.S.S (keep it simple Santa)
This is a great working principle when you are organizing your decorating, gift-giving, and your Christmas meal. There is no need to compete for the “best Christmas decorator” title or produce the most extravagant Christmas display in your garden. It creates unnecessary stress and insane amounts of waste.
Give Christmas experiences
We are aware that this will be challenging to do this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but still, there are lots of options to organize post-pandemic visits to an art gallery or museum, a voucher for fitness/dance/painting/cooking classes, a rock climbing course, or a wonderful picnic at the beach. Rethink your giving habits.
Before you run out to get more stuff, ask yourself if you really need it. Would that stuff add any genuine value to this Christmas holiday? With such a reflective attitude toward shopping, usually, the list gets reduced considerably. Being mindful of what we buy helps us reduce the generating of waste.
Plan your Christmas menu
Be realistic about how much your direct household members will eat. For the post-pandemic gatherings, check out this handy serving calculator: https://savethefood.com/
Organizing your holidays with a zero waste action plan will help you avoid waste and save time and money.
Rethink and reimagine your role as a consumer during the holidays.
Happy holidays from the HSR Zero waste team! Ho ho ho to a zero waste Christmas!
Zero Waste Fundamentals Program
This holiday season is the perfect time for you to take your Zero Waste knowledge to the next level and register for the Zero Waste Fundamentals Program.
This self-run course consists of 5 sessions, a mix of video classes, mini-quizzes, exercises, and additional resources. It is specifically designed for those who are looking for more in-depth knowledge on Zero Waste. The program aims to provide a solid foundation of Zero Waste practices, policies, values, and concepts.
After completion, you will be able to actively identify, support, and advocate for Zero Waste. You will also achieve a Zero Waste Canada official certificate of completion.
You can also gift it to one of your friends or family members. The perfect Zero waste gift.
Register here for the Zero Waste Fundamental program.
Don’t forget to share this post with all those who care for the environment and are ready for a new challenge!
And … follow us on social media!