How to low-waste the holiday season

After finals comes the reward of the holiday season! And with that come parties and gifts...and lots of waste. Fear not! Here are some simple ways to cut the waste.


Low-waste gifts

There are lots of DIY gift ideas that you can make with materials you probably already own! The best in my opinion are always edible: homemade candies, cookies, and chocolate bark are great ways of spreading holiday cheer! A personal go-to is a cookie recipe in a jar—just grab a used pasta sauce jar and throw in all the dry ingredients

Another amazing low-waste gift idea is gift cards for local businesses. Many businesses have these available, so whether it’s for a new climbing gym, café, bar, or tattoo, this is a foolproof gift! Check out this list for other low-waste gift ideas.


Bring your own dish

We all know that holiday parties are often littered with plastic forks and paper plates, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re throwing one, let your guests know to bring their own plate and fork. If you’re going to one, come prepared with these as well!

Pro tip: If you bring a Tupperware as your plate, you’re much more likely to leave with leftovers!


Get creative with your cards

Don’t limit yourself with the holiday card section of Shoppers! A handmade card is much more genuine and sentimental. It can be made out of a piece of paper, an old paper shopping bag, an old roll of film, or really anything that you can write on! Think outside the box and you will be able to get artsy and reduce your waste simultaneously!


Use LED lights

If you’re decorating, be sure to use LED lights, not incandescent. They use 75% less energy than incandescent so you can save money on that power bill and reduce your energy consumption while still spreading that holiday sparkle!

Candles are also another great alternative to lights, and they smell delicious which is an added bonus!


Donate unwanted gifts (especially warm clothing!)

Let’s be honest: we all have enough socks, yet every holiday season seem to get a million more. Or is it just me? I often find myself the proud owner of way more hats, sweaters, and socks than I actually need after the holiday season, so it’s a great idea to donate these items. They can have a second (or first) life with someone in need, and not just get forgotten or go to a landfill. You can donate to a local Value Village, Salvation Army, youth centre, women’s shelter, or other places accepting donations.