A Mindful Holiday Season
As we reflect on ways that we can celebrate our core values with others this season, this year, we are striving to be more intentional, mindful, considerate and creative with how we express holiday cheer!
By the Loop Team | Dec 12 2022
According to Zero Waste Canada, 545,000 tonnes of waste is generated from gift-wrapping and shopping bags every year around the holidays. Along with that, household waste can increase more than 25% in the holiday season. There are very real consequences to these stats, and we can do our part this holiday season to be more mindful about what we gift, where our waste goes, and how we can more intentionally share our values with others.
Creative Gift Ideas!
Gift giving is one of the best parts of the holidays. Sharing with others is so heartwarming. There are so many creative ways that we can be more considerate with gifts and reduce landfill waste in the process.
- Gifting second hand is a cost effective and long lasting way to shop sustainably. Oftentimes, second hand items have already lived a long life and can be made of durable materials. Opt to shop second hand if you already have an idea of what your loved one might like! There is lots to go around at thrift stores.
- Another way to reduce waste and create thoughtful gifts is to gather all your creativity to make something by hand. If you are a talented writer, you could write a book of poems that reminds you of a loved one. If your skills lie more in crafts, you could knit a sweater using thrifted yarn, or decorate thrifted frames with photos of you together. Let your creative juices flow!
- Experiences and time spent together are other ways to show care this season. As live events start to resume, you could get the music or theatre lover in your life tickets to a show or concert of an artist they love. Creating memories is a gift worth more than money!
- Annual museum, theatre or movie memberships allow access to many exhibitions and movies throughout the year. TIFF, the AGO, the ROM are a few local places that might spark a new interest in that special person in your life! The Toronto Tool Library is another great place to get a membership to someone who needs tools to start their new hobby!
- A donation on behalf of a loved one is a wonderful way to express solidarity with them as well as contributing to causes that are close to their heart. Learn more about ways to contribute to our partners in social good below.
Okay so now you have the perfect gift! What is the best way to wrap it? Every year, Canadians use 6 million rolls of tape to wrap up Christmas presents (Zero Waste Canada). That is about 6 million too many… This year, try wrapping your gifts in recycled boxes and paper, or use fabric and yarn to fasten them together. For more ideas on mindful gift wrapping and decorations check out these articles:
What to do with your holiday waste:
After gifts are exchanged, meals are shared and memories are made, we are often left with a big mess to clean up. We can’t reasonably expect that every gathering is going to be perfectly sustainable or with no landfill and food waste. One thing to be intentional about is where our waste is going. In Toronto, we have a useful tool called the Waste Wizard. By simply asking the Waste Wizard where an item should go, it is able to direct you to the right stream of waste to dispose of your items. Using this tool, we can reduce contamination of recycling, allow us to take stock of how much landfill waste we are creating, and help us to think of what we can improve on for next year.
Give the gift of donation!
At Loop, we are aware and mindful that holiday seasons are not all made equal. We want to celebrate many of the organizations we collaborate with that are working to provide resources and services to marginalized communities during the holidays and beyond. If you can, give the gift of donation this holiday season.
- The future of holiday gifting is secondhand via Greenpeace
- Second-hand gifts, new experiences: shaking up holiday gift giving via the University of British Columbia
- Holiday Food Waste via Canada’s Circular Innovation Council
- Celebrate Without Wasting Food via Love Food Hate Waste
- Holiday Food Waste: 7 Simple Steps to Reduce via Second Harvest
Proper Disposal of Holiday Waste
- Reduce, reuse and recycle right this holiday season via the City of Toronto
- How To Properly Dispose Of These 5 Holiday Decorations via RedBins
- What goes where: Your guide to sorting Christmas waste via the CBC