Nature Canada

4 Eco-friendly Holiday Tips

We’re decking the halls, putting up lights and excitedly waiting for the holiday break to begin. The holiday season can be exciting and busy, but it is important to consider during this season of giving, how you and your family might be impacting the environment over the holidays. Here are some fantastic ideas to get you started!


The holidays are a wonderful time to gift, and who doesn’t love the wonder in your family member’s eyes when they open the most perfect gift. There are plenty of ideas out there for greener gifting, but here are some favourites:

  • Donate: Donating to a person’s favourite charity is a great way to ski the wrapping, driving and searching time for a gift. It’s also a great gift for the person who has everything.
  • Antique and Vintage: That’s right, old is the new thing. Finding really cool old pieces at antique or thrift stores can make great gifts as well. They also typically cost less and the item gets a chance to be reused.
  • Cards: Skip the paper cards and either directly gift the cash or send an e-card. You can free holiday e-cards online here.
  • Wrapping: Aim for wrapping that be recycled or reused. Still get the weekend paper? Use the comic section to wrap your gifts!
  • Experience: Give the gift of an experience or a memory. Whether it is theater, a sporting event or concert tickets, there are many great experiences that any person could enjoy.
  • Alternative gifting: Whether your family chooses to do a Secret Santa gift game or skip the formal gifts altogether, your family is choosing a greener and cost-effective Christmas. This year my husband and I decided to give gifts in the form of a skill, we are treating them to a fancy, homemade dinner after we took a cooking class this past year.


I will fully admit to being one of those early holiday decorators. The holiday to me was always about the lights, the tree and the shiny decor. The best ways to be eco-friendly here is to cut down the times lights are on, buy only decorations that you can use multiple times, and avoid glitter (which is a microplastic).

Did you know that you can use natural elements to give your home a holiday feel? Check out this blog on creating a wreath made out of pine cones!


Food waste at holiday time can be one of the worst things to see because there are so many ways to avoid it.

  • Reuse: Re-purposing food into new dishes such as soup is one of my favourite ways to skip food waste. Who doesn’t have a family turkey soup recipe?
  • Donate: Didn’t need everything that you picked up? Donate to a local food donation place or to a local shelter. Call ahead to find out what they need and what they accept.
  • Compost: I believe now that most municipalities across Canada have a composting program that can take scraps from meals.


Do your best to plan out trips so that you can save on the cost of travel. Take public transit or share a ride when you go out, and don’t forget to crank up your favourite carols for the ride!

Do you have other tips to add? Let us know on social or comment below!

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.