The holidays are a season of joy, togetherness, and giving, but it can also be a time of increased consumption and waste. Often that increased consumption is found in unnecessary spending on that shiny new thing or as simple as buying way too much food. It’s kind of crazy to think about this but globally, Canada is the world’s largest per capita producer of waste. In a recent waste audit of Toronto, the municipal government found that more than 50% of the food waste that’s generated by single-family households annually is avoidable. So, this year we’re encouraging everyone to be a bit more mindful about their consumption patterns as the holiday season approaches.
Aside from mindful consumption, you may be looking for other ways to incorporate sustainable approaches and thinking into your celebrations this year. In this blog, we share some areas for you to consider, without sacrificing the joys of the holiday season. While these changes may seem small, little changes in our individual lives can add up to a big collective impact (psst, share this post with a friend or colleague!).
- Eco-Friendly Decorations
Decorations can be mindless one-off purchases, however purchasing sustainable options are not only better for the environment, they can be good for your pockets too.
- Natural Decor: Embrace the beauty of nature by using natural decorations like pinecones, holly, and evergreen branches. These items can be composted or reused, reducing waste. You can even start planning for next year’s decorations by collecting some of these natural decorations while you’re on a winter hike or outdoor excursion this season.
- LED Lights: Switch to energy-efficient LED lights for your Christmas tree and outdoor displays. They use significantly less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent lights. What’s more? This can save you money on your electricity bill!
- Handmade Ornaments: Create your own ornaments from recycled materials or craft supplies. Involve the whole family in making personalized decorations, adding a special personal touch to your tree.
- Sustainable Tree Choices
The most sustainable choice here is to not have a tree at all. But let’s be real for a sec, because Christmas trees have been deeply ingrained in many family traditions for generations it would be incredibly difficult to give up this aspect of holiday celebrations. If you’re like me and must have a tree, you may want to think about the following in making a decision about tree options:
- Real vs. Artificial Tree: While artificial trees can last for many years, they are often made from non-recyclable materials. Ultimately, they create more waste in the long-run and end up in landfills after a few years of use. On the other hand, getting a real tree means there’s one less tree out there absorbing the carbon emissions that we’re pumping into the atmosphere every day. Honestly, there’s no good option here other than to do your research and be as responsible in your consumption as possible. If you want to opt for a real tree, go for one that is locally grown and sustainably harvested. Many tree farms replant and practice sustainable forestry. You can also consider offsetting your Christmas tree purchase by buying carbon offsets like this one offered by tentree.
- Potted Trees: These can be planted after the holiday season or used year after year.
- Creative Alternative Tree Options: Get creative by decorating a houseplant or a wooden tree-shaped frame as an eco-friendly alternative to a traditional Christmas tree.
- Sustainable Feasting
The holiday feast is often the biggest highlight of the holiday season. It’s a time to gather with loved ones, gorge on delicious food items, and spend quality time. Karaoke or board games, anyone? Below we’ve highlighted a few ways you can make your feast more sustainable this year. You can also consider trying one of Mi BOWL Meal’s holiday meal packages for groups of 4, 6, 8, or 10.
- Buy Local and Organic: Support local farmers and reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing locally sourced and organic ingredients for your holiday meal. At Mi BOWL Meal we carefully source our ingredients and source as locally as possible.
- Minimize Food Waste: Plan your meals carefully to avoid food waste. Make use of leftovers by creating new dishes or donating excess food to those in need.
- Eco-Friendly Tableware: Use reusable tableware, such as glass plates and metal cutlery, to reduce single-use plastic waste. If disposable tableware is necessary, opt for compostable or biodegradable options.