Eco-Friendly Tips for the Holidays!

Here are a few easy tips for making sure that your holiday is a gift for the earth
Gifts and Cards

  • Give charitable donations in lieu of gifts
  • Give or make gifts using your skills and experience
  • Avoid battery operated children’s toys and consult the Canadian Toy Testing Council
  • Shop at local green businesses and consignment shops
  • Encourage environmentalism with fair-trade organic products, subscription to eco-magazine/journal, and canvas shopping bags
  • Buy art and crafts from local artists
  • Wrap gifts in reusable or recycled gift wrap, or get creative with jars or tins
  • Use gift bags that can be re-used
  • Send e-cards
  • Make new gift tags out of old cards
  • Use 100% post-consumer/ recycled cards


  • Avoid dollar stores and instead opt for quality
  • Choose products that have minimal packaging
  • Shop within 100 miles of Ottawa. There are lots of local choices for kids, foodie, gardener and art lover.


  • Carpool to Christmas parties
  • Serve local wines and beers in "real" (i.e. not disposable) wineglasses and mugs
  • Try to avoid traveling, especially flying
  • Don't use chemical sprays to scent your home. Instead, boil cinnamon, cloves etc. or sprinkle essential oils on some cotton pads around your home
  • Make your special dinner an all organic and local one

Christmas Trees

  • Buy and decorate a living, potted tree. Use it for a few years, then plant it in your garden

Saving Energy

  • Put automatic timers on Christmas lights so that they are turned off during the night
  • Use LED lights

New Traditions

  • See the holiday season as an opportunity to relax with loved ones rather than as a stressful time where you’re obligated to buy things for people they don't want or need
  • Honour the peace of the holidays by not driving your car. Walking is great during this time of year!
  • As always, refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle. Be creative!