Create memories, not garbage.

​Tips to Reduce

Between wrapping presents, decorating, the parties and the food, the holidays can create a lot of waste. Use these tips to keep unnecessary waste out of the landfill.

  • All
  • Decorating
  • Food
  • After Christmas



Reuse or Recycle Christmas Cards25 or Recycle Christmas CardsReuse or Recycle Christmas Cards<div class="ExternalClass4EA36E3C98E141D184CF49861DA7429C">Keep your favourite Christmas cards to one side to use as gift tags or recycled decorations next year. Cut others into narrow strips to use as shopping lists – the card is easier to write on than paper when you're on the go. Keep large cards for crafts – for when you need thin but strong card.<br><br>Paper greeting cards can go in your paper recycling if you receive curbside recycling collection. Watch out for cards with non-paper additives like plastic, glitter, sequins, or fabric – these may not be recyclable. Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or check with your municipality for more information.</div>,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Borrow from Nature1 from natureBorrow from Nature<div class="ExternalClass1BDAEF8CA0FE4FD8BEA217103408F3EC"><p>​Many decorations can be found by looking no further than your back yard. Pinecones, branches, leaves, and twigs can all be used as decorations. Try using the greenery in nature to make your wreath or centerpiece this year. It’s easy, waste free, and smells good too! </p></div>,,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Reusable LED Candles2 candlesReusable LED Candles<div class="ExternalClass5D814F17BF0946C9B299CC5BB6E89DAD">​Who doesn't love the warm winter ambiance created by lighting a few candles? Reusable LED candles are a safer and more eco-friendly option. These look similar to real candles, are made from real wax, and are even designed to flicker in the same way. Make sure to look for rechargeable and reusable LED candles, and to avoid the cheaper disposable ones. </div>,,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Green Shopping Choices3 shoppingGreen Shopping Choices<div class="ExternalClassD8E7195342B24B96A5F7062B0795B987">​When choosing new decorations, shop for ones that can be used forever. Start small and add to your collection year by year. <br><br></div>,,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Make It a Party4 it a partyMake It a Party<div class="ExternalClassD3BDE295EBA24A1EB1317B792A19CEB0"><p>​Invite friends and family over to make decorations. It’s amazing the beautiful decorations you can make out of newspaper, magazine pages, toilet paper rolls, and a little ribbon or string. Search online for ‘green Christmas decorations’ – you’ll find simple but great ideas. </p></div>,,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
The Aftermath5 Aftermath<div class="ExternalClassB370C0754D054F7BA09B4C1E3B0B7861">​Once it's all said and done, you may still have some 'stuff' leftover. Know what packaging and printed paper can go into your recycling bins. You can also use <a href="">Metro Vancouver Recycles</a> to find the most convenient locations to donate or recycle just about anything that doesn't go in your blue box. </div>,,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Love Food, Hate Waste6 food hate wasteLove Food, Hate Waste<div class="ExternalClassCE54F169F38D471A9F502989B938E746"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Find tips on how to reduce food waste in the first place </a>(and save up to $700 a year) and some great recipe ideas for your leftovers.</p><p> <span style="line-height:107%;font-family:"calibri","sans-serif";font-size:11pt;"> <br></span></p></div>,,|#46ca4777-c0b5-4262-a8a7-1eb85c7d68a3;L0|#046ca4777-c0b5-4262-a8a7-1eb85c7d68a3|Food;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Plan Your Holiday Food Shopping7 food shoppingPlan Your Holiday Food Shopping<div class="ExternalClassFD4643B683804B9287CFA3AD70DB262F"><ul><li>Check what you have at home before you shop.</li><li>Make a list and buy only what you need.</li><li>Shop in bulk to reduce packaging and buy the exact amount you need.</li><li>Buy local meat, produce, and condiments.</li><li>Bring your own reusable shopping bags when you go to the store.</li><li>Avoid shopping on an empty stomach.</li></ul> </div>,,|#46ca4777-c0b5-4262-a8a7-1eb85c7d68a3;L0|#046ca4777-c0b5-4262-a8a7-1eb85c7d68a3|Food;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Entertain in Green8 in Green<div class="ExternalClass0C5C16C90BE147C2B085270A91E96438"><ul><li>Skip the paper napkins in favour of a reusable cloth material.</li><li>Use reusable containers for leftovers instead of plastic wrap or tin foil.</li><li>Suggest that your dinner guest bring their own reusable containers to take leftovers home.</li><li>Remember to compost any unusable food scraps.</li></ul> </div>,,|#46ca4777-c0b5-4262-a8a7-1eb85c7d68a3;L0|#046ca4777-c0b5-4262-a8a7-1eb85c7d68a3|Food;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Reuse or Recycle Wrapping Paper17 or Recycle Wrapping PaperReuse or Recycle Wrapping Paper<div class="ExternalClass4FA3BED5D6DF4D999972E252543EDA5D">Paper gift wrap can go in your paper recycling if you receive curbside recycling collection. Watch out for gift wrap made of plastic, foil, or with non-paper additives like glitter – these can't be recycled. Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or check with your municipality for more information.<br><br>Even better – re-use wrapping paper. Carefully flatten and fold large pieces to be used again. (Kids especially won't notice the same paper being used year on year.) Smaller pieces can be used to make gift tags or folded into festive envelopes. Particularly creased pieces can be shredded to provide protective cushioning for gifts throughout the year – or to protect delicate Christmas decorations while in storage.</div>,,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Be Kind to Your Christmas Decorations18 Kind to Your Christmas DecorationsBe Kind to Your Christmas Decorations<div class="ExternalClassD69CC5E9551C478BA13A25151A439C24"><p>Store decorations away carefully and you'll be able to use them year on year – meaning less waste going to landfill and reducing your need to buy new stuff.</p><p>You can use shredded wrapping paper or packaging from new toys or gadgets to protect delicate items. Wrap tinsel and strings of Christmas lights around a paper towel tube or a plastic bottle to avoid tangling. Label boxes so you can find them again easily.</p> <p>If you don't have any space for storage, don't throw away decorations – pack them away neatly and donate or sell them</p></div>,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Electronic Waste19 WasteElectronic Waste<div class="ExternalClass62034019569640ADA2789744DAC1A447">Did you upgrade to the latest model of that gadget this Christmas? Make sure to dispose of your old one properly. Consider selling or donating the item if it still works. <br> <br>Recycling electronic items keeps harmful chemicals out of our environment. Anything with a battery or plug can be recycled. And you don’t need to take it apart, just drop it off.<br><br>Find a depot near you at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</div>,,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Have a Swap Party20 a Swap PartyHave a Swap Party<div class="ExternalClass41B7D75131C942C6BCB36DFC0AA5DCBA">You may not be in love with the fringed, mesh muscle shirt that one of your over-zealous co-workers gave you, but someone else might go gaga over it! Planning a swap party is simple – just invite a few favorite friends to bring over their unwanted gifts, serve some yummy snacks and beverages, and let the trading begin!</div>,,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Regifting21<div class="ExternalClassDFC71E26C8934050A13C0FEE7011DF69">If you've got a gift that you know someone else will enjoy more than you will, why not give it to them? Start a 'gift drawer' to collect new beautiful items that you can see being perfect for future birthdays, housewarmings, etc. If you're worried about giving a gift back to the gifter, keep a notepad in the drawer and jot down who gave it to you when you add a new item.</div>,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Donate Unwanted Items22 Unwanted ItemsDonate Unwanted Items<div class="ExternalClass8AD2C4917D2146D38B00154830189EE1"><p>Give away items that you don't want or won't use, or old items that have been replaced by something shiny and new. Make sure the items you donate are clean and in good working condition.</p><p>Dropping items off on the way to do errands is a cinch and in many cases, pickups can be arranged free of charge. Search online for charities or thrift stores that will accept your donations.</p> </div>,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Packaging24<div class="ExternalClass5E8555ABA7424825B3CA2140B6830462"><p>​Gifts come in all sorts of packaging – plastic, foam, boxes and more. Many of these can be recycled either in your curbside collection or at a depot. Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or contact your municipality for specific information.</p></div>,,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Curate a Collection9 a CollectionCurate a Collection<div class="ExternalClassE37962ED463B415D95183738763C1AC5">​When buying new decorations, choose quality items you’ll want to use year after year. Mix these in with homemade and nostalgic items to build a collection of decorations you love.</div>,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Recycle Old Christmas Lights10 Old Christmas LightsRecycle Old Christmas Lights<div class="ExternalClass3A63AF668CFC4377A76E861B2D4285EF"><p>​Old, broken Christmas lights can be recycled. Find a facility that accepts them on <a href="">MetroVancouver Recycles.</a></p></div>,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Recycled Cardboard Tree11 Cardboard TreeRecycled Cardboard Tree<div class="ExternalClassF8C808503B4B4545A571FFCCBF47F686">​Instead of chopping down a perfectly healthy tree, how about using an already-dead one? By recycling some old cardboard boxes, you’ll end up with a minimalistic 3D tree that can be decorated with lights and baubles just like any other. Find instructions <a href="">here.</a></div>,,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Turn Old Toys Into Ornaments13 Old Toys Into OrnamentsTurn Old Toys Into Ornaments<div class="ExternalClassB9A1CF4A59F34536B3EA3986B0CC2CE9">​Transform old toys into nostalgic Christmas tree decorations. Ask the kids to help pick out which toys to use. To hang, use a needle and embroidery thread to stitch through soft toys, insert screw eyes into wooden toys, or wind embroidery thread through an opening or around a narrow part of the toy.</div>,,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Recycled Giftwrap Garland14 Giftwrap GarlandRecycled Giftwrap Garland<div class="ExternalClassDA75D20FED3B4A4DB6A72DAF28EF885C"><p>​Instead of throwing them out, gather up old holiday gift bags, bits of wrapping paper and greeting cards. Cut out circles and string them together to create a festive garland. Get instructions <a href="">here</a>. </p></div>, Gift Wrap Garland, Gift Wrap GarlandGP0|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Upcycle Socks15 SocksUpcycle Socks<div class="ExternalClass819F6C5B4F6742FAB1074F6A531588FF"><div>​Turn outgrown baby socks into a sweet<a href=""> advent calendar</a>. Or, re-purpose bigger wool socks into stockings. </div></div>,|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Oh Christmas Tree16 Christmas TreeOh Christmas Tree<div class="ExternalClass33EEC80E4D7B4A50B163C39FC649715F">Real tree? Remove all the ornaments, including tinsel, and bring it to a transfer station where it will be composted along with other yard waste. Find a location on  <a href=""></a> (search “Christmas Tree”). Or check your municipality’s website for local chip-ups. Next year, consider renting a potted tree for the holidays.<br> <br>Artificial tree? Pack it away carefully to use next year. If you need to get rid of it, consider selling or donating it.</div>,,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Use Up Leftovers23 Up LeftoversUse Up Leftovers<div class="ExternalClass57ECA1D8FA4847F0B213CAA2775D9F1E">A lot of resources went into preparing your holiday meal – land, water, and energy, not to mention your time and money! Make the most of it by using up all your leftovers.  <br><br>Freeze goodies for later consumption (shortbread tastes delicious in January) or give away leftovers to friends and family. Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for more ideas and recipes to use up your Christmas leftovers. <br> <br></div>,,|#46d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743;L0|#046d680e0-cced-4e55-8c23-61b87e385743|After Christmas;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089
Alternative Christmas Tree12 Christmas TreeAlternative Christmas Tree<div class="ExternalClass97CC49A9CC17403487EE3730B36CCAD1"><p>​If you’re looking to move away from a traditional tree this Christmas, see what materials you have around the house and exercise some creative muscle. You can make a festive tree out of books, a ladder, or picture frames. See more unique ideas <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>, Alternative tree, Alternative TreeGP0|#15d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d;L0|#015d72c3a-bae1-402d-b8b6-10579e614e6d|Decorating;GTSet|#a9923e58-f557-4ae8-9322-43b8e31fd089