5 min read
‘Tis the season to be merry and spread joy! The greatest part about the holiday season is spending time with friends and family and celebrating with the people we love most. For most, it is the greatest time of the year! Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our planet.
With all the decorating, gift giving and buying, the holiday season generates enormous waste each year. According to an article by Global News, on average Canadians produce up to 25% more waste over the holiday season than throughout the rest of the year. Here at JYSK Canada, we continually strive to reduce our ecological footprint by working to develop more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for our products, in our day-to-day activities and through our supply chain operations. Now we would like to share with you some easy, eco-friendly ways to celebrate in a “greener” way this year.
If you are looking to start celebrating the Christmas holidays in a more eco-friendly way, then one of the biggest first steps you can take is to swap out your artificial tree for a real one. At first, this may not sound like the greener option. If you have an artificial tree, then you are using it year after year. Unfortunately, artificial trees are known to contain some dangerous chemicals that you do not want your family and pets around. Real trees clean the air when they are growing, provide jobs to local communities and there are several clever ways to recycle Christmas trees after the holidays have ended.
Another way is to forage for decor! Look for evergreen foliage, twigs, branches, pinecones, anything that catches your eye! These make for great table centerpieces or Christmas mantel decor. Garland made of dried fruit or, the more classic, popcorn are great ways to decorate your tree. Have a family craft night and weave together twigs and branches to create wreaths. Not only can this be a lot of fun, but it’s an easy eco-friendly alternative.
Though bows, ribbon, and glitter paper are festive and fun to use, none of them are recyclable. There are many fun and creative ways that you can start wrapping your gifts to be more eco-friendly and are also more cost conscious. Simple brown kraft Christmas paper is one of the easiest ways to incorporate greener gift wrapping. It is cheaper than normal gift wrap and it’s recyclable. Add some festive flare by using twine as ribbon with natural elements like pinecones, holly, or cinnamon sticks tied within the bow!
Reusable gift bags and boxes are simple and cost-effective ways to wrap your gift in. If you want to go a step further, you can also look at using a scarf from a second-hand store or old scraps of fabric as your Christmas wrapping!
Advent calendars are a joyful way to count down the days until Christmas. For many families, they have become a yearly tradition and are often sources of great fun for the children in your life. However, the most common advent calendars are the chocolate ones that you can often find at grocery stores. These types contain plastic moulds and tend to generate large amounts of waste over the holiday season. If you want to turn this holiday tradition into a more eco-friendly alternative, then fear not as there are many fun options that can also be a fun and festive family activity.
Plenty of stores offer refillable advent calendars that can be used for years to come. This option offers you with an unlimited number of ways that you can bring joy to your family as they count down the days until Santa’s arrival! Fill the calendar with heartfelt notes, tasty treats, stickers, homemade tree ornaments, and many more. If you want to go a step further, put together a craft night with friends and family to build your own advent calendar! From recycled toilet paper rolls to scrap fabric, the internet is filled with the most creative ways to build a DIY advent calendar.
A great way that you might not have thought of to reduce this season is to be aware of where you acquire and consume your groceries. Buying locally grown, organic and seasonal food over traditional products aids in reducing waste, water, and carbon footprint. Eating local reduces greenhouse gas emissions from production and transportation, and it also helps the local economy by supporting local farmers and workers.
Understandably, this option is not always feasible. A smaller step that you can take would be to plan your holiday dinner accordingly to help minimize food waste. Write yourself a grocery list and stick to it, utilize your leftovers by making soup or other dishes to freeze, or send guests home with a healthy portion of leftovers. Don’t forget to compost any food scraps you can’t use and when you’re out shopping for food, try and avoid plastic wherever you can by bringing your own reusable bags.
Try out some of these simple tips that can be effortlessly added into you Holiday routine this year to aid in waste reduction and create eco-friendly habits this season.