The holidays can generate a lot of waste – according to Zero Waste Canada, Canadians generate 545,000 tonnes of waste from gift wrapping and shopping bags alone. Add in food waste, packaging, and unused gifts, and household waste can increase more that 25% over the holidays!

Our member organizations have suggestions for simple ways you can reduce unnecessary purchases, cut back on food waste, and wrap up the holiday in environmentally friendly style.

Reep Green Solutions encourages you to opt for shared experiences, donations, and homemade crafts and baking rather than store bought gifts. Read their five simple suggestions for reducing your environmental impact this holiday season.

Rideau Environmental Action League suggests rethinking reuse and giving goods a second chance by shopping second-hand and non-profit stores, consignment shops, flea markets, and yard sales. Using online exchanges (think Freecycle), or organizing swaps and exchanges with family and friends are ways to find the perfect gift and reduce your environmental impact.

Green Action Centre (GAC) reminds us that a sustainable gift is a gift to future generations. Check out their top 10 sustainable gift ideas.

Holiday meals, typically known for an abundance of food, can also generate an abundance of waste, and use up a lot of resources. GAC has tips for reducing food waste and saving money.

Follow @GreenVentureHamilton this month for #FrugalFridays eco-friendly holiday tips on social media.

Green Calgary has a Green Holiday Challenge Package to help Calgarians find the perfect gift, support a good cause, and participate in a small challenge to green the holiday.

Finally, it’s time to rethink how you wrap up the holidays. GreenUP reminds us that rethinking gift-wrapping doesn’t mean forgoing excitement, anticipation, and surprise. It’s an opportunity to get creative and personalize your gifts. This naughty list tells you what gift wrapping to avoid.

Click here to read the full GCNews December edition.