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How to Make Your Holiday Celebrations Eco-Friendly

Be mindful of the environment with these eco-friendly ideas for your holiday celebration

An overhead view of three parcels wrapped in fabric. There is one box wrapped with cream-coloured fabric with twine tied around it and a sprig of pine needles. There is a box next to it wrapped in mint coloured fabric. Below it is a light grey box tied with some pine needles. Around the boxes are a pair of scissors, some dried apple slices  and cinnamon sticks.

While the holidays are a particularly fun time of year, they can also create a lot of waste. Here are five things you can do to make the season merry while also being mindful of the environment.

Use fabric to wrap presents

A person wearing a white knit sweater is holding a wrinkled swatch of white cloth and folding it over a brown paper box.

Instead of buying new wrapping paper, opt for a length of fabric that can be bought at Walmart. Fabric can be repurposed for another use or it can be used to wrap another gift in the future. Try the easy Furoshiki knotted method from Japan.

Shop local

Online purchases have a higher carbon footprint due to transportation emissions, as well as the boxes and packaging required to ship products safely. Instead, shop locally to cross items off of your list. You’ll be supporting small, independent businesses at the same time, too.

Reduce food waste

Two people are huddled over an open oven door. An older man wearing a light purple T-shirt is holding onto a silver tray with a turkey on it. A younger girl with curly brown hair is holding her hair back and leaning over the turkey.

Ensure that your holiday food ends up in hungry bellies instead of the garbage by having a plan. Map out your meal before going to the grocery store or ordering from INABUGGY to purchase appropriate quantities of food. Keep plastic containers on hand to send leftovers home with guests.

Give experience gifts

Unwanted or unused gifts often end up being thrown out. Instead, give an experience gift with zero waste like passes to an escape room or an obstacle course for adventurous types. Gift a membership or tickets to the Royal Ontario Museum for the culturally-minded or workshops for eager learners of all ages.

Fill a reusable advent calendar

A close up view of a wooden advent calendar. Boxes 8, 4, 1 and 11 are visible. Each one has a small illustration on it, such as a Christmas tree or a reindeer. Peeking out from box one is a tinfoil wrapped chocolate bear.

Countdown to Christmas without creating waste with a reusable advent calendar purchased from Indigo. Fill each spot with a small candy or chocolate or write a thoughtful message for your family.

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Image credit: klenova/iStock, Bogdan Kurylo/iStock, FG Trade/iStock, gwenael le vot/iStock