By: Meghan Vidakovic, Green Venture Communications Volunteer
The holidays are coming up fast, and it can be easy to slip into wasteful habits. Planning and thinking ahead can help beat avoidable waste, so read on to find some of our favourite holiday zero waste tips!
- Start saving your newspaper! Wrapping gifts in newspaper is a fun and creative way to give it another life. Keep certain sections that are tailored to people on your list’s interests (ex Sports section!) to add an extra personal touch. Did you know wrapping paper is not recyclable? According to the Hamilton Recycle Coach app gift cards, bags and wrap are only accepted in the recycling bin if they are 100% paper – unlikely with the amount of glitter that comes with Christmas. Their best advice is if you’re not sure if it should be recycled, it probably belongs in the garbage! Craft paper is another alternative and you can draw on your own tags and bows with marker!
- Giving homemade gifts, like baked goods, in mason jars. You can pretty them up by using fabrics scraps or reusing paper from the recycling bin to make tags. On that note, try to buy your baking ingredients at bulk food stores that allow you to bring your own containers! Other homemade gift ideas: knit socks or homemade bread.
- Consider giving the gift of an experience, like a fun winter activity such as skating at Pier 4 park, a cooking class, paint night or workshop. Sometimes the best things to give aren’t “things”!
- Re-green your Christmas tree! Consider decorating a potted tree that can be replanted once you are finished with it. If you do use a cut tree, consider keeping it in your backyard and turn it into mulch for your garden come spring! Otherwise, the Royal Botanical Garden collects Hamilton’s Christmas trees at the end of every season to create a barrier berm in Cootes Paradise to help fight invasive carp.
- Shop local. If you are planning to buy things for Christmas gifts this year consider shopping at one of the many local Hamilton shops or Christmas markets. There are less km on your gift than an Amazon delivery and typically less packaging.
Finding zero waste alternatives for our Christmas traditions can be fun, so be creative and think outside the box this holiday season!