'Tis the season to be jolly, where we visit family and friends, enjoy delicious foods and share memories with one another. There's plenty to be thankful for during the festive cheer; however, excess waste to holiday celebrations is not one of them. But don't fear, the London Environmental Network is here! We have compiled a list of ways to be mindful and reduce waste during this special time of year.

silver scissors beside orange leather shoe

Gold scissors and grey paper by Visual Stories || Micheile

1. Use reusable and/or recycled wrapping paper

Instead of wrapping your holiday gifts in sparkly or shiny wrapping paper, use old newspaper or brown paper used as packaging to wrap your gifts. Newspaper or brown packaging paper is not only a unique and chic look, but it also lessens your waste! 

people sitting down near table with assorted laptop computers

People sitting down near table with laptops by Marvin Meyer

2. Sell or donate your old electronics, or make sure to dispose of them safely

Every year after Christmas, the curbside is seemingly littered with old tech. Many non-profit organizations accept donations that include old electronics, and even selling your old electronics helps reduce your waste. Additionally, Recycle My Electronics is an amazing resource for any Ontarian looking to safely dispose of their electronics. 

pencils and cards on gray surface

Pencils and cards on grey surface by Cristina Taranovici

3. DIY your decorations

Crafting your own homemade decorations is not only a fun activity, but a great way to reuse materials lying around your house! Or go outside for a walk and pick up some pinecones, leaves, twigs and other forgeable items and get creative! 

bokeh photography

Bokeh photography photo by Andy Holmes

4. Use LED lights and E-cards

LED lights are an amazing and more sustainable alternative to regular holiday lights: they use less energy, they last longer and they don't get as hot. Make sure to set a timer for your LED lights so that they only come on when it is dark, saving electricity by not having them on all day. E-cards are not only a fast and reliable way to send holiday greetings, but you're saving trees and discarded cards and envelops in the process! There are plenty of websites online that let you customize your very own electronic card! 

person walking inside building near glass

People walking inside mall by Heidi Fin

5. Buy products with less packaging and plastic

Avoid items that have excessive amounts of packaging and plastic since most of that will be thrown out regardless. Instead, being a conscious shopper and look for products that minimize their packaging and/or use recycled materials. 

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