By Sarah Chadwick
THUNDER BAY – LIVING – The holiday season is upon us, meaning the glittery, coloured and metallic wrapping paper and bows will be hauled out of storage. But, did you know that this store-bought wrapping material is not recyclable and ends up in our local landfill?
In Canada, 545,000 tonnes of gift wrap and shopping bags are discarded each year. Shannon Costigan, Program Coordinator at EcoSuperior, shares her top tricks to reduce your holiday waste and to wrap up your holidays the eco-way!
During the holiday season, the average household’s waste will increase by 45 percent, and 500 tonnes of holiday waste will be picked up during the first week of the New Year! “A huge contributor to this drastic increase in waste is holiday gift wrap,” states Costigan. “Reducing waste over the holiday season doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some helpful tips and tricks!”
Top 5 ways to reduce your holiday waste:
- Avoid the excess: avoid gifts that come with excess packaging (ex. a box, within a box, within an even bigger box). Homemade gifts in reusable containers are a great idea! Try making a homemade recipe book using recycled paper.
- Don’t be fancy: the plastic, colourful wrapping supplies you buy at the store can’t be recycled. Try using old newspaper, magazines, maps or reusable bags.
- Say ‘no’ to plastic: avoid decorating your gifts with plastic decorations, like ribbons or bows. Instead, use natural materials like evergreen boughs, pinecones, flowers and fruit for a festive feel.
- Use and re-use your party supplies: when you’re hosting your holiday party, use cloth napkins and reusable dinnerware.
- Plan ahead: organize and stick to a food plan to reduce your food waste. Don’t forget to compost organics!
EcoSuperior is giving you the gift of green when it comes to wrapping this holiday season! “Naturally Gifted: Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping demonstrations and workshops will help you make beautifully-wrapped gifts using recycled, re-purposed, natural or eco-friendly materials as alternatives to traditional non-recyclable paper,” explains Costigan. Look for a Naturally Gifted display at community events near you! If you are interested in booking a workshop for your workplace or community group, contact EcoSuperior at 624-2141 or visit www.ecosuperior.org/naturallygifted for more details.
You can join Shannon Costigan for a Naturally Gifted workshop during this month’s Healthy Get-Together at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Our Hospital’s public session will be held on Tuesday, November 28th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, in ICP Main – Room #2178 (Level 2, Main Level). We encourage you to bring your own recycled material to craft with. Call 684-7237 to reserve your spot today!