As the holiday season approaches, our hearts warm in anticipation of tree trimming, heartfelt gift exchanges and joyous time spent with loved ones.
Yet, with packaging, giftwrap, plastic toys and decorations often having a lifespan shorter than our holiday cheer, the merriment often comes wrapped in a less-than-jolly reality: a surge in waste.
The good news? From innovative wrapping ideas to creative decorating, there are lots of ways to ensure our memories outlast the waste. The Capital Regional District shares a few simple, low-waste ideas for a sustainable, homemade – and beautiful! – holiday.
- DIY Decor: Infuse your home with the warmth and authenticity of your own hand-crafted decorations. Begin by exploring creative avenues with natural and repurposed materials available you already have on hand – from dried orange garlands to cardboard gingerbread houses or ornaments crafted from old books or toys, let ingenuity guide your crafty creations! Feeling adventurous? Head to the backyard for twigs, branches and evergreen clippings to craft into rustic wreaths that capture the essence of our West Coast landscapes.
- Sustainable Wrapping: Rethink your approach to gift wrapping and instead repurpose everyday items like newspaper, paper bags, old calendar pages, old book pages or maps for a personal and eco-friendly touch. Love the holiday colours? Extend the life of last year’s wrapping and gift bags by giving them a second chance, or consider the dual purpose of gifts, where a cosy sweater or charming tea towel becomes both the wrapping and an additional gift, infusing your presents with a personal and sustainable twist.
- Green Gifts: Instead of accumulating material possessions, celebrate the season with less waste by opting for experiential or low-waste gifts that create lasting memories – think memberships, local dining experiences, or cooking classes – maybe even some you can enjoy together! Consider vintage gifts or gifts of your time and talent, like a photo session, babysitting or a home-cooked meal. And who doesn’t enjoy homemade gifts like preserves, cookies or other handcrafted items?
The best holidays are those that inspire memories, not waste. For more inspiring ideas, visit crd.bc.ca/memories. And for the waste that does arrive with the holiday, be sure to check myrecyclopedia.ca to learn where and how to dispose of everything correctly!