Eco-smart Tips

The holidays are a great time for family, fun, food and festivities. This is also a great season to think about the environment.

“Green” Your Tree and Decorations:

  • Make your own decorations and have some eco-friendly fun!
  • Decorate the tree with popcorn garland and hang it in your yard for birds to enjoy when you are finished with it.
  • Get creative by making simple ornaments with coloured paper, costume jewelry, old magazines, ribbons, and recyclable material.
  • If you buy decorations, get sturdy ones that can be reused year after year, or buy second-hand ornaments.
  • Decorate your favourite household plants instead of using a tree.
  • Create wreaths from old artificial Christmas tree branches.

Buy Eco-friendly Gifts:

  • Give eco-friendly gifts - composters, reusable travel mugs, reusable shopping bags or a reusable picnic set.
  • Give gifts that promote environmental responsibility - supporting a local, national or international charity, doing a range of good works like helping the less fortunate buy a farm animal or helping build a school in another country.
  • Give homemade gifts.
  • Select gifts made from sustainable or recycled materials.
  • Choose items that have less packaging or packing that can be reused or recycled.
  • Plan ahead to save car trips by combining several shopping trips in one.

Re-think Your Cards and Wrapping:

  • Create gift tags from old holiday cards.
  • Create and write homemade messages on reused paper instead of purchasing holiday cards.
  • Phone or send e-greetings and donate the money you’ve saved to a favourite charity.
  • Wrap gifts in reusable (and creative) wrappings like cloth gift bags, scarves, attractive tins or boxes, or even towels or sheets.
  • For small gifts like jewelry, make attractive gift boxes from old holiday cards.
  • Reuse gift wrap from previous years and recycle non-metallic gift wrap you’re finished with.

Buy LED Lights and Use Them Wisely:

  • LED lights last longer than standard lights and use less energy. If one LED light goes out, your other lights will stay lit.
  • Connect lights to a timer to save energy.
  • Buy solar lights for your outdoor displays.
  • Take old strings of lights to the Eco Station to be disposed of safely for free.

Go Rechargeable:

  • Wind-up toys and solar-power gifts are great options. If batteries are required, purchase rechargeables.
  • Treat your household to a better charger – preferably one that charges NiMH batteries which are least damaging to the environment and rechargeable 1,000 times.

“Green” Your Holidays:

  • Choose reusable plates, cutlery and cloth napkins as alternatives to paper or disposable dishes.
  • If using disposal dishes, choose items made from paper so they can be composted in the green organics cart.
  • Remember to place food scraps (including meat bones) and soiled napkins and paper towels into the green organics cart.
  • Dress warmly and reduce your idling time in the cold (vehicles only need 30 second to warm the engine).

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