As the holidays approach, our thoughts of peace on earth and goodwill toward mankind tend to increase. The amount of waste we create also increases dramatically. Here are some ideas for how to green up your holiday decorations – and we're not talking about the colour of the tree.
That's a wrap
During the holidays, household waste can increase by more than 25%. That's nearly half a million tonnes of festive trash that ends up in landfills. The bulk of this waste comes from discarded shopping bags and wrapping paper. The majority of store-bought wrapping paper is not recyclable due to the shiny coatings and foils. It's time to rethink gift wrapping.
Instead of buying wrapping paper, consider repurposing household items or packaging. An old pillowcase can be repurposed and custom-decorated with a DIY holiday stamp and used year after year. Old comics are perfect for wrapping children's gifts. Old paper maps are great, too! If you would like to reduce waste and add to your skill set, give the Japanese art of fabric wrapping, or Furoshiki, a try. This instructional video makes it easy to learn how. Save any gift bags and bows from the gifts you receive and give them new life with the gifts you give.
Lighten up on the lights
It wouldn't be the holidays without lots of lights. You don't need to scrap the idea of lights altogether, but you may want to switch to LED lights. They use considerably less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs and they last longer, too!
Switch to paperless holiday cards
We already cut down so many trees during the holidays, why not save some paper and go digital with your holiday cards this year? Digital cards can be customized to include photos and more, making them feel intimate while cutting back on waste.
Repurposed DIY decorations
Rather than heading to the store, get crafty this holiday by creating your own DIY holiday decorations using upcycled and repurposed materials. An old pair of jeans can be transformed into tree ornaments, an old sweater becomes a wreath – you get the idea.
BentallGreenOak hopes these ideas help make your holidays more sustainable and more special.