‘Tis the Season: 7 ways to make your celebrations more sustainable!

Get creative with eco-friendly wrapping paper, such as old newspaper, old magazines and calendars, or paper bags decorated with potato stamps.

Get creative with eco-friendly wrapping paper, such as old newspaper, old magazines and calendars, or paper bags decorated with potato stamps.

Christmas is just around the corner and the pressure to consume and to find the perfect presents for family and friends can equate to a lot of stress as you look for that elusive, perfect gift.Overconsumption can be equally stressful for those trying to reduce the number of things they purchase that potentially get discarded quickly.

Here are some options for people looking for a meaningful way to stay connected and conscious of their waste over the Christmas season.With a little effort and imagination, we can reduce the environmental impact of the holidays.

  • As you bring out your Christmas lights and curse as half are no longer working, remember that non-working Christmas lights are recyclable. Bring the entire strand to 3rd Ave. depot or the AV Landfill.
  • If you’re one of the few people still writing Christmas cards, look for plantable cards. These cards have beautiful wildflower seeds embedded in the handmade paper and you can plant the entire card in the spring.If they are not plantable please recycle or compost your cards in January or better yet upcycle them into decorations for next year.
  • In Canada, the annual waste from gift wrap and shopping bags equals about 595,000 tons. If everyone wrapped just three gifts in reused paper or fabric gift bags, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 hockey rinks! Try to avoid shiny wrapping paper, as most glossy or laminated gift wrap is not recyclable due to foil, heavy ink or glitter.There are lots of alternatives when it comes to wrapping options. Consider hand-sewn or locally made gift bags, a new kitchen or bag towel wrapped with twine is also an option. Old newspaper, old magazines and calendars works as well for those who still have little ones who like to rip things apart. Paper bags that have been decorated with potato stamps are a fun option as well.
  • Christmas is a great time to donate your gently used items to families in need. Local charities put together shoebox programs, etc. and are happy to accept.
  • Support a circular economy and check out our local stores, online Christmas markets and local artisans. Consider low-impact, no-packaging requirements.They could definitely use support right now!
  • Still stuck on the perfect gift for that special someone? Think of an experience rather than a material gift.
  • Post-Christmas cleanup: Check out local options for dealing with Christmas trees after Christmas.Annually, the Multiplex has had a Christmas tree chipping event for a Kidsport fundraiser.

For more information on local recycling services, refer to the ACRD website at acrd.bc.ca/recycling_schedules. To download the free ACRD Recycling and Waste Wizard app go to your mobile app store and find . You can also check out the Facebook Page “Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Education” for weekly tips and updates for the Valley.

EnvironmentGreen LivingRecycling


For your Christmas cards, consider plantable, handmade paper cards embedded with beautiful wildflower seeds – simply plant the entire card come spring!

For your Christmas cards, consider plantable, handmade paper cards embedded with beautiful wildflower seeds – simply plant the entire card come spring!

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