How to Have a Green December

For December, we want to share ways to celebrate a Green December. It’s easy to get caught up on the holiday season, but we want to remind everyone that there are ways we can reduce our environmental impact during the end of the year and throughout the year. They include:

  1. Spending time in nature.
  2. Using recycled or reusable gift wrapping and exploring wrapping alternatives.
  3. More sustainable gifting from playing “White Elephant” to regifting a gift and shopping locally.
  4. Donate to a charity or organization you admire.
  5. Reduce your food waste by identifying correct portions and trying new recipes with leftovers.

Spending time in nature

The holiday season can be overwhelming, and a great way to decompress is by enjoying nature by going on a hike or walking on a new trail. Being outdoors will stimulate joy, less stress and increase positive emotions. Be intentional when you go out and enjoy nature and take the opportunity to reflect on how the Earth provides for us and what changes you can implement to live a green lifestyle.

Using recycled or reusable gift wrapping and exploring wrapping alternatives

Canadians tend to be 25% more wasteful during the holiday season due to the accumulation of gift wrapping and shopping bags. Worse, most gift wrapping is not recyclable and ends up in landfills. However, we can be more mindful of waste. For example, we can use recycled or recyclable gift wrap, upcycle gift wrap, avoid tape, and explore alternative wrapping methods like Japanese cloth wrapping.

Finding sustainable ways to gift

We often spend a lot during December. However, there are several ways we can limit the amount we spend while also reducing our environmental footprint.

  1. Play White Elephant: This game works well for groups of three or more individuals planning to exchange gifts. By drawing out names, you choose one person to gift rather than more. This encourages less waste from gift wrapping and packaging and keeps the bank intact.
  2. Shop locally for gifts: Supporting a small business also means that your contribution to greenhouse emissions has lowered due to fewer transportation costs from shipping and delivery.
  3. Regift an item better suited for someone else: If you feel comfortable doing so, consider regifting a present given to you to someone who can better use it.
  4. Shop secondhand: Participate in the circular economy and find hidden gems at thrift stores that can make the person you’re gifting very content.

Donating to a charity or to an organization you admire

Green giving is when you donate to organizations or projects focused on creating meaningful change toward reducing our environmental impact. NoSUP Canada is an example of an organization dedicated to reducing plastic waste globally, starting with more robust plastic ban policies, challenging food industry leaders to shift from single-use plastic to more sustainable solutions, and inspiring Canadians to lead zero-waste lifestyles.

We’re just starting and can use your support! Consider buying NoSUP Canada a plastic-free coffee today to support our mission of eliminating single-use plastic waste from Canada’s food system.

Reduce your food waste

Getting together with friends and family during the holiday typically comes with preparing and enjoying plenty of food. Therefore, we must be mindful of how we can mitigate the food waste we generate. This includes planning and considering portions, making new recipes with leftover foods and donating or regifting food baskets if you’re not planning on having them.

We can all do our part this holiday season to stay green during the holiday season and beyond. Let’s collectively work together to lead greener lifestyles and reduce our overall environmental impact.

What are your best tips for staying green during the holiday season?

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