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.

Christmas ornament

Get creative!

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 cool ideas to try out:

Upcycled christmas ornaments

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? Check out the Recycling Council of British Columbia's "Great Tree Debate"

  • 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

Christmas tree


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.

Christmas lights recycling

Did we miss anything? Share your tips with us on social media @WRWCanada

New Balance

Additional Waste-Free Decorating Tips & Resources

Still mulling over whether to go real or artificial for this year’s Christmas tree?