Various evergreen pine and fur trees on display for sale. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)

Various evergreen pine and fur trees on display for sale. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)

E-Tips: Sustainable Holiday Celebrations

There are many ways to make this time of year more earth friendly

By Bonnie White, member of Creston Climate Action Society

Hello, and welcome to the winter holiday season! However you chose to celebrate, there are many ways to make this time of year more sustainable and earth friendly. Here are some great tips to make a difference!

Christmas Trees

Use a potted or live tree that has been cut. A potted tree can be planted later to beautify your yard and produce oxygen. A live cut tree can be chipped to make compost for your garden. Both options help keep more waste and plastic out of the landfills!

Decorations

Have a family craft day and make your own decorations out of evergreen boughs and other natural items like pine cones, twigs, and orange slices. Head out for a walk to collect items, where it is permitted, and spend the day getting some exercise and being creative! Try making your own wrapping paper out of brown paper with stamps and use greenery with twigs and pine cones in place of bows and ribbon. Or, use fabric, towels, or reuseable gift bags for wrapping. Have the kids make homemade gift tags for a more personal touch. Again, these materials have less plastic and will lead to less garbage.

Many of the cheap Christmas decorations are made in developing nations where the employees are not treated well and are forced to work under horrible and unsafe conditions. There are many hidden costs connected to cheap items such as disposal costs, damage to the environment and human health, and transportation miles. Let’s not support this!

Lights

Please use LED lights wherever possible and have them on a timer, so they are not on all night.

Gifts

Think quality, not quantity. Instead of a frenzy of gifts that many open and then forget about by the next day, focus on one or a few items that will last and stay out of the landfill. Most of us don’t need a whole bunch more stuff! Shop local to support our amazing stores here in Creston and all over the Kootenays. Trade items between families. Swap clothes with a friend. Make a donation to a charity or other meaningful cause. Purchase experiences such as movie tickets, rec centre passes, zip lining or cave tours, admissions to hot springs. Use your imagination to tailor a gift to your loved ones’ interests.

If possible, try purchasing used or thrifted items. My husband and I did this one Christmas, where everything had to come from a thrift store, and it was a lot of fun!

Rest & Relax

The winter season is meant to be a break from our busy lives and give us some time to rest and rejuvenate before springtime! We have the power to choose how our holiday time will be. Explain what you are doing to friends and family to help inspire them too. Go for a Christmas Day family walk and look for birds while burning some holiday calories. Slow down, be present in the moment, and take the time to savour the season. Connect with nature. Simplify, slow down, breathe, and enjoy… this isn’t meant to be a stressful time. Our pursuit of materialism and unrealistic expectations can put a damper on this time of year and have lots of negative impacts for the planet. We can make a difference with our daily choices!

Happy Holidays and all the best in 2022 to you all from the Creston Climate Action Society! Please like us on Facebook and email us at crestonclimateactionsociety@gmail.com with your stories about how you had a more sustainable holiday season this year. Thank you for reading and all that you do to make a difference!

READ MORE: E-Tips: Reducing the Use of Plastics

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