Don’t forget the ‘3R pollution prevention hierarchy’ when planning your holiday gift-giving and festivities: reduce first, reuse second and recycle third.

5 ways to make memories instead of waste this season

From gifts to party-planning, here’s how to make the 3Rs work at the holidays!

The holiday season brings a lot of joy into our homes but it can also bring a lot of extra waste.

Packaging and wrapping paper, leftover food, plastic toys that often aren’t loved for as long as they last … it all adds to the local waste stream.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to.

“Reducing waste throughout the year is founded on the principle of the ‘3R pollution prevention hierarchy’ – reduce first, reuse second and recycle third – and that same practice works to reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season,” says Russ Smith, senior manager of the Capital Regional District’s Environmental Resource Management team.

Here’s 5 simple ways to create a holiday that’s memorable in all the right ways!

  1. Opt for low-waste gifts: If your gift list still needs a few ideas, consider low-waste presents. Experiential gifts – movie passes, family photo sessions, memberships, subscriptions, tours or classes – are always a hit. If you prefer giving something that can be enjoyed right away, opt for homemade gifts like preserves and cookies, or things that last, like heirlooms, camping gear or high-quality cookware.
  2. Recycle your shipping: If you’re doing a lot of your shopping online, remember that most packaging and shipping material gifts arrive in can be recycled – paper envelopes go in your blue bag, hard plastic packaging is blue bin-approved and flattened cardboard up to (or cut to) 30” square can be collected through the curbside program.

    To recycle your bubble wrap, plastic envelopes, inflated air packets and Styrofoam blocks for free, pop into your local Recycle BC depot!

  3. Go gift wrap-less this year: Turns out there are many ways to hide what’s inside without the traditional giftwrap/tape/bow combo. Use things you already have around the house – newspaper, paper bags and old calendar pages – AND make your gifts stand out under the tree. Wrapping a kitchen or food-themed gift? Use a pretty tea towel!
  4. DIY your holiday décor: You’ll find many decorations right in your own backyard: pinecones, cedar boughs and sprigs of holly look beautiful in a wreath, centrepiece or garland. The added bonus? They smell amazing, too!

    Gather the kids and turn old gift bags, already-used paper and greeting cards into a reusable garland for your tree or mantel. When buying new decorations, choose pieces complement what you already have (and that you’ll want to use forever).

  5. Green up your holiday party: Hosting a holiday party? Keep it green by using as many reusable or recyclable items as possible.

    Swap out disposable paper or plastic linens, dishes and cutlery for the real deal; use reusable containers for leftovers instead of plastic wrap and tin foil, and invite your guests to bring a reusable container to take home leftovers after the festivities!

    After the party, tin containers, aluminum trays, whipped cream cans, egg nog cartons and deli trays can all be recycled in your blue bin, while paper plates and napkins can go into your green bin.

It’s all that easy! Learn more at www.crd.bc.ca/holidayrecycling.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

BREAKING: Reports of a shooting on Happy Valley Road in Langford

Reports of a shooting in the 3400-block of Happy Valley Road in… Continue reading

Pacific FC puts its best foot forward for inaugural game

Players ‘counting down’ to kick-off day

Motorcyclist taken to hospital with undetermined injuries after crash in Oak Bay

Two-vehicle collision occurred Tuesday morning shortly before 11 a.m.

Saanich community association postpones meeting about University Heights

Gordon Head Residents’ Association president doesn’t know why University Heights project is on hold

Belmont students help West Shore residents spring out of hunger

Spring Out Of Hunger food drive takes place on April 24

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

PHOTOS: Inside the ‘shoe house’ in Northern B.C.

A rare look inside the famous Kitseguecla Lake Road shoe house, with a tour led by owner Toby Walsh

Thieves steal five of Seven Dwarves ornaments honouring B.C. couple’s late son

For the second time in a year, several garden ornaments stolen from Cloverdale family’s front garden

UPDATE: Missing kayakers located safe and sound in Welcome Bay

Pair were reported missing April 22, in vicinity of Lasqueti Island

Most Read