Waste-Free Holidays | Waste Reduction Week in Canada

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Waste-Free Holidays

Christmas celebrations generate a lot of trash. In their quest to reduce waste, some Canadian families are cutting back on more than just wrapping paper and disposable dishware — they're also cutting back on presents.

Those that do it say that's key to reducing waste. They acknowledge it's a challenge in a culture where Christmas is often about lavish buying and spending and can lead to conflicts with extended family. But they say it also comes with rewards — including a more fun, less stressful and more meaningful holiday.

Household waste can increase more than 25% over the holidays. The majority of nearly half-a-million tonnes of holiday waste that goes to Canadian landfills each year is made up of discarded gift-wrapping and shopping bags.

In Peterborough, and many other municipalities, plastic and foil wrapping paper, bubble wrap, ribbons, and gift bows, go into the garbage over the holidays and are trucked off to our landfill.

Try giving differently this season to keep unnecessary waste from entering our landfills. Need some inspiration? Metro Vancouver's Merry Memory Maker has over 170 ideas to get you started. 

Canadians will send 100,000 elephants worth of wrapping paper to the dump this year and Christmas presents are a big culprit.

Zero Waste Canada, a Vancouver-based advocacy group, estimates each Canadian tosses about 50 kilograms of garbage over the holidays, 25 per cent more than the rest of the year, thanks to the purchase of 3,000 tonnes of foil, 2.6 billion Christmas cards and six millions rolls of tape.

Skip the wrapping paper and try out the art of Furoshiki using fabrics from around the house. Furoshiki is a Japanese cloth-folding technique that allows you to wrap objects of various shapes and sizes in a single piece of cloth.

No tape? No problem!

You can also do Furoshiki using wrapping paper. No tape or bows required.

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