Sustainable Tips to Help Celebrate Christmas This Year
This year more than ever, sustainability has been top of mind at Cedarglen Homes with the launch of our new Net Zero Inspired program. As we head into the holiday season, our team has been brainstorming ways that we can all make our own Christmas festivities more sustainable as well. There are plenty of ways that your family can still have a Merry Christmas while keeping our planet top of mind.
SUSTAINABLE GIFT GIVING TIPS:
- Quality Over Quantity – Instead of purchasing plenty of gifts for all the loved ones in your lives, consider giving fewer gifts that are of a higher quality instead.
- Support local – Purchase your gifts from a local shop or business and reduce the negative impact of shipping while supporting a local maker. Click HERE to view a fantastic 2022 Calgary Gift Guide.
- Secret Santa – Rather than buying for everyone in your extended family, consider hosting one of these fun Christmas gift exchanges instead. Click HERE for 10 different ways to play Secret Santa with your friends and family.
- Buy a Reusable Advent Calendar – Avoid purchasing 1-time use advent calendars and buy a reusable one that you can fill with your own little sustainable gifts each year.
- Alternative Gift Ideas:
- Services: massage membership, lawncare service, AMA membership, spa gift certificate, ride-share membership, RESP contributions, etc.
- Experiences: cooking classes, concert tickets, sporting event tickets, museum memberships, music lessons, weekend getaway, movie passes etc.
- Antiques & Collectibles: Heirloom jewelry, vintage clothing that is back in style, antique furniture, collectible vinyl records etc.
- Homemade Gifts: Homemade cooking or baking, compiled family recipes, holiday cards, photo calendars, etc.
- Charitable Donations: Consider supporting a charity that means a lot to the receiver.
- Environmentally Friendly Wrapping
- Use recyclable wrapping paper (look for Forest Stewardship Council [FSC] certified materials)
- Avoid glossy foil, metallic paper, glitter, and plastic based ribbons
- Use tape sparingly or not at all
- Reuse giftwrap and giftbags whenever possible
- Alternatives to using traditional wrapping paper can include reusable fabric gift bags, household items that double as an additional gift (i.e. blankets, pillowcases, tea towels etc.), or exploring Furoshiki - the Japanese art of folding and wrapping with cloth (click HERE to learn more).
‘GREEN’ DECORATING AND HOSTING TIPS
- Outdoor Light Display – It’s no secret that outdoor Christmas lights consume a ton of electricity, however there are still some ways that you can keep your home looking festive while making improvements to your environmental impact.
- Upgrade older lights to LED – LED lights use up to 95% less energy than traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. Consider installing Gemstone Lights on your home to create a sustainable, long-term display.
- Reduce your light display – While it can be fun to have the most decked out house on the block, consider investing in non-electrical based decorations such as wreaths and lawn ornaments instead.
- Turn off your lights overnight – You can save a ton of electricity by putting your Christmas lights on a timer and turning them off around 10:00 or 11:00 pm when most people are already home and in bed.
- Choose a Live Tree – While artificial Christmas Trees can be reused, they are often made of petroleum products that have a huge environmental impact when being produced. Often times, families tend to throw these out after a few hours when they start looking older anyways as well. Instead, consider purchasing a live Christmas Tree that can be chipped and turned into mulch when you are finished. Click HERE to learn more about the Calgary Christmas tree composting program.
- Alternatively, you could purchase a small potted tree one year, then reuse it the following year until it is too big for inside. At that time, you could plant it outside where it can continue to grow for years to come.
- Food Preparation – Plan your meals in advance and do your best to shop seasonally and locally if possible. Try to avoid over-preparing food but have some reusable containers ready to go for guests to pack up any leftovers.
- Eco-Friendly Christmas Crackers – Explore sustainable Christmas Crackers to avoid senseless waste while still having fun! Check out Etsy for some Canadian made eco-friendly Christmas crackers HERE.
With a little bit of thought, it is easy to make some minor adjustments to your holiday plans and help make the world a little bit more green this Christmas.