It’s that time of year again, the decorations are going up and the bustle of the holiday season has begun. The holiday season, which really spans from Thanksgiving to New Years, is the most waste-producing time of year. While we all want to do our part, the holidays tend to be a time when we go ‘all out’ and people are apprehensive to make major changes to their traditions. But great news — it can also be simple and easy to make your holiday at home more sustainable through a few simple tweaks.

1. Put the environment on your list

Intention is your most powerful tool for change! Each year make a commitment to make one change to your normal holiday routine to help the environment. This can be for one year only or something you carry forward for future years. Consider switching out traditional holiday cards for handmade or e-cards, turning down your thermostat to compensate for the extra energy for holiday lights, or only wrapping gifts in reusable materials. These small changes make a huge impact for the environment without sacrificing the sentiment of the season.

2. Reduce food waste

The food waste this time of year can sometimes get out of control. In an effort to make sure there is variety and enough for everyone often we make way more than is necessary. Consider making less food for guests, having containers to give out leftovers, and remember to use your green bin and/or backyard composter for food scraps.

3. Use sustainable packaging for gifts

Even as a kid I was always taken aback by the giant garbage bag of shiny wrapping paper that went straight to the trash bin after the gifts had be opened. There is something about tearing into a present wrapped so precisely that is part of the suspense and anticipation. Luckily now there are an abundance of post-consumer material, recycled, and reusable gift wrap available for a more sustainable option to a classic tradition. If you want to save money consider using the colourful weekend comics from your paper!

4. Change your mind about re-gifting

Re-gifting can be quite the taboo subject for many, but I can guarantee almost every person has something lying around the house, brand new, that will never be used. Let’s change our minds about re-gifting and you can save money, de-clutter and brighten someone’s day.

5. Purchase sustainable gifts

The best gift of all is one with thought behind it, so instead of buying one of those grab gifts in the impulse section try a different approach. For the person who ‘already has everything’ you can get them a gift card, donate to a cause in their name, or adopt an endangered animal. If they are thinking of reducing their carbon footprint or getting rid of their car, give them the gift of CarShare. Check out our web store for more details!