Decorating for the holidays doesn't have to create waste. Learn how with these tips:
Purchase for reuse
Purchase high-quality decorations that will last so you can reuse them over and over again.
Holiday string lights not working? Instead of throwing them away ang buying a new set, try repairing them first. Check out this video tutorial.
Who doesn't love doing crafts over the holiday? Make your own tree ornaments, wreaths, arrangements, and garland. Why not upcycle and repurpose old materials around the house? Some DIY projects to try out:
Scrap Fabric Twine Christmas Ornaments
Recycled Gift Wrap Paper Garland
Keep it real
Choose real poinsettias, Christmas trees, wreaths, and arrangements for decoration instead of artificial plastic ones. Once the holidays are over everything can be composted. Debating between a real or artificial tree?
- Go outside and find fallen pinecones, berries, and evergreen branches to make your wreaths and centrepieces.
- Purchase a potted Christmas tree that can be planted after the holidays.
- Use berries, oranges, cinnamon, and other holiday herbs/spices and make a potpourri
Donate any unwanted holiday decorations such as string lights, ornaments, or other home decor to a local charity.
Check with your local municipality on how to properly manage common holiday decor such as:
- Christmas trees: many municipalities offer curbside Christmas tree pickup after the holidays or host tree chipping events. If this service doesn’t exist in your area consider turning it into mulch or composting it in a backyard composting system.
- Wrapping paper: most municipalities accept wrapping paper for recycling, except glossy and foil papers.
- String lights, artificial Christmas trees, and other "hard to recycle" items: Please check with your municipality on what to do with these as they are not typically accepted in recycling programs. Reuse them as much as possible or donate them to a local charity.
Skip the glitter
Did you know that glitter is made out of tiny pieces of plastic? Glitter is notorious for getting everywhere – touch one sparkly holiday card and it gets on your clothes, skin, or carpet. Once the glitter washes down the drain, it becomes a subset of marine plastic litter known as microplastic. Microplastics, which measure less than five millimeters in length, are found throughout the world’s oceans and waterways, from the surface to the deep sea floor. They do not breakdown in the environment and are consumed by plankton, fish, shellfish, seabirds, and other marine life.