by Elaine Munro, Director, Sustainable Operations
For several years now, I’ve noticed that the environment takes a big hit during the holiday season with all the plastic packaging, mega packs of batteries, wrapping and trappings and connect-the-mall madness. There is a huge focus on stuff, much of which we don’t really need.
Why not be gentle on yourself and the Earth?
Consider weaning yourself and your family off of store-bought gifts in favour of homemade or personalized gifts. I’ve never seen a favourite recipe of holiday cookies returned because they don’t fit. Why not take the time to write homemade greetings and create favourite food and holiday traditions? Memories are made of shared moments that have meaning.
Here are 10 changes that will make your “Green Christmas” easy:
- Use LED lights for interior and outdoor decorations.
- Attach outdoor lighting to an automatic timer.
- Create a battery recycling box for your own home and return the batteries to your local transfer station, Ikea or home supply store. Better still, invest in rechargeable batteries.
- Create a holiday advent calendar that has activities each day for children instead of chocolate.
- Gather food items from home to take to the food bank.
- Make your own Christmas cards and/or wrapping paper (the comics section of the newspaper works well for kids).
- Create homemade popcorn garlands.
- Cover an orange with whole cloves as a natural holiday air freshener.
- Bake your own cookies and package them for gifts, along with the recipe.
- Make a contribution or volunteer for a community charity over the holidays.
There are lots of green options that will put meaning back into the season, and isn’t that the true spirit of the holidays?