In fact, Canadians’ household waste can increase by more than 25 per cent during the holiday season, but the good news? Breaking the cycle is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Streamlining your holiday waste cycle starts with the 3R pollution prevention hierarchy: Reduce first; Reuse second; and Recycle third.
Not only will you avoid wasting money on things you’ll just throw away, it can also reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season.
For more inspiration, here are 10 tips to create a holiday that’s memorable in all the right ways!
- Opt for low-waste gifts: Gift experiences – memberships, subscription services, a gift card to a local restaurant; homemade gifts like preserves and cookies; or gifts made to last, like heirlooms, camping gear or quality cookware.
- Recycle shipping materials: Shopping online? Most shipping materials can be recycled—paper envelopes in your blue bag, rigid plastic packaging in your blue box and cardboard can be flattened and cut down (max. 30” square).
- Recycle packing: Bubble wrap, plastic envelopes, inflated air packets and Styrofoam blocks for free at a Recycle BC depot.
- Go giftwrap-less: There are many ways to hide what’s inside without the traditional giftwrap/tape/bow combo. Use materials you already have around the house – newspaper, paper bags, old calendar pages or old gift wrap and gift bags. Wrapping a kitchen or food-themed gift? Use a pretty tea towel!
- DIY your holiday décor: You’ll find many decorations right in your own backyard: pinecones, cedar boughs and sprigs of holly look beautiful in a wreath, centrepiece or garland. As an added bonus, they smell amazing, too!
- Green your holiday dinner: Use reusable or recyclable items, swapping out disposable linens, dishes and cutlery for the real deal.
- Right-size your dinner plans: Keeping your meal to just your household this year? Reduce food waste by planning portions appropriately and preparing only what you’ll eat. Consider buying a smaller bird or forgoing less popular dishes, and save leftovers in reusable containers or deliver them to a friend.
- Be waterwise: Thaw your turkey in the fridge instead of using running water and reuse the water from cooking vegetables in soups, gravies, sauces or for watering the plants.
- Keep your sink fat-free: Holiday cooking means more fats, oils and greases – save and store fats for use in future recipes or dispose of them in your green bin. Whichever you decide, be sure they don’t end up down the drain where they can cause significant clogging issues.
- Recycle your containers: After dinner, recycle your aluminum trays, whipped cream cans, eggnog cartons and deli trays in your blue box, and place paper plates and food scraps in your green bin.
Need a few more ideas? Learn more at www.crd.bc.ca/holidayrecycling