Going Green For The Holidays

December 2, 2019 | By: Candice Batista

Going Green for the Holidays - From Gifts to Eats to Hosting Feasts!

What I love about the holidays is the opportunity to get together, but what drives me crazy is the waste! Did you know that Canadians produce up to 25% more waste during the holiday season than the rest of the year? Let’s lower the statistic by using this Green Guide for the Holidays!

Gift Giving

Gift the Gift of Zero Waste

My favourite gifts to give (and receive!) are the ones that inspire my friends and family. So, this year, I’ve decided to put together a gift basket filled with zero waste items! These items have cut my waste significantly, and simplified my life, so it’s exciting to share.

Initiate a Gift Exchange

If you’d rather spend the holiday season away from shopping malls and instead with the people in your life, consider a gift exchange! By drawing names and buying one gift, the holiday moves away from being about things, and more about people. The names drawn can be a secret, or be out in the open.

If it’s the first time doing a gift exchange, here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Be sure to set a spending limit that every- one agrees on

• Theme it! Why not exchange house plants-purchased or propagated from your own collection?

• Do a DIY gift exchange. Not only are homemade gifts more personal, they’re also fun to make: one that I love is a stovetop potpourri in a mason jar - all the recipient has to do is boil water and pour it in for a fragrant, delightful scent to fill the room!

Re-Write the Wrapping Rules

Although it’s called wrapping paper, it’s typically not actual paper, and most likely not recyclable. A good way to test it is that If there’s glitter, foil, or you can’t tear it, it has to go in the garbage.

Here are ideas to replace wrapping paper- and even customize it for the recipient!

• A scarf or other fabric to wrap the gift

• You can even stitch a button on it to seal it up

• An old map you’ve kept stuffed in a drawer

• The brightest, most vibrant pages from a magazine

• The comics page from the paper

• If you’re feeling crafty -or have kids around- make a day of it by decorating paper yourselves!

Cooking

Plan Ahead

It’s no surprise, but the #1 thing you can do to cut back on food waste is to PLAN! That’s why I refer to a simple meal planning guide to get a sense of how many portions I should account for per person, and I take the time to make a detailed list before going to the store.

There’s always plenty for seconds (and even thirds!) on the table, but it cuts down on my own stress of whether or not I made enough.

Give Leftovers New Life

In a year, 63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten. So if you have too much food left over, don’t trash it! First off, I suggest having a dozen empty mason jars on hand so that guests can dish up their favourites and take them home.

For what remains, there’s always another use for leftovers that aren’t turkey sandwiches. It’s amazing how gravy or leftover squash can become a soup base. Or, those mashed potatoes can top off a shepherd’s pie. It’s so easy to stuff stuffing into peppers and roast them. Of course, if you are short on time, pop leftovers in the freezer. Your January self will thank you for a complete Christmas meal in the new year.

Sweet Idea: Cookie Swap!

Rather than buying over-packaged chocolates, I try to bake during the holidays. The downside is, baking several different sweets can be a TON of work.

The beauty of the cookie swap is that you bake 1 recipe in a large quantity (5-10 dozen), and so do your friends. Then, you get together and swap so that you leave with the same number of cookies you came with, but in an assorted variety!

Plate Problems?

Do you not have enough dishes for your guests? There are a lot of alternatives that aren’t paper or plastic:

• For a uniform look, rent what you need. The bonus is that rental companies often- times allow you to return the dishes dirty

• Find a set second hand at your local thrift shop- who knows, you might end up liking them more than your original plates!

• Ask a friend or two to bring their plates

• Last but not least, turn it into a bring your own plate party (BYOP) for an eclectic look!

Low-Impact Ornaments

There are SO many options to have décor that’s festive and sustainable instead of plastic and shipped across the world. I like to start with what I already have at my fingertips, so here are a few of my favourites from this year.

Need some more inspiration? I love the detailed list that The Mini Smallholder has put together. From drying citrus fruit to make a fragrant chain, to incredible paper-made ornaments, there are options for everyone to repurpose what’s already available.

Celebrating doesn’t have to benefit us in the moment and then harm us and the environment in the long term. I’ve loved sharing my passion for the environment with friends and family by showing different ways to celebrate which are also low impact on our most precious resources. It’s the gift that keeps on giving - to you, me and the planet!

Feel great (and green) about the holiday season!

Candice Batista is an award-winning environmental journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.

Going Green for the Holidays – From Gifts to Eats to Hosting Feasts!
December 2, 2019 | By: Candice Batista

Going Green for the Holidays – From Gifts to Eats to Hosting Feasts!

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What I love about the holidays is the opportunity to get together, but what drives me crazy is the waste! Did you know that Canadians produce up to 25% more waste during the holiday season than the rest of the year? Let’s lower the statistic by using this Green Guide for the Holidays!

Gift Giving

Gift the Gift of Zero Waste

My favourite gifts to give (and receive!) are the ones that inspire my friends and family. So, this year, I’ve decided to put together a gift basket filled with zero waste items! These items have cut my waste significantly, and simplified my life, so it’s exciting to share.

Initiate a Gift Exchange

If you’d rather spend the holiday season away from shopping malls and instead with the people in your life, consider a gift

exchange! By drawing names and buying one gift, the holiday moves away from being about things, and more about people. The names drawn can be a secret, or be out in the open.

If it’s the first time doing a gift exchange, here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Be sure to set a spending limit that every- one agrees on

• Theme it! Why not exchange house plants-purchased or propagated from your own collection?

• Do a DIY gift exchange. Not only are homemade gifts more personal, they’re also fun to make: one that I love is a stovetop potpourri in a mason jar – all the recipient has to do is boil water and pour it in for a fragrant, delightful scent to fill the room!
no-repeat;left top;;
auto

Re-Write the Wrapping Rules

Although it’s called wrapping paper, it’s typically not actual paper, and most likely not recyclable. A good way to test it is that If there’s glitter, foil, or you can’t tear it, it has to go in the garbage.

Here are ideas to replace wrapping paper- and even customize it for the recipient!

• A scarf or other fabric to wrap the gift

• You can even stitch a button on it to seal it up

• An old map you’ve kept stuffed in a drawer

• The brightest, most vibrant pages from a magazine

• The comics page from the paper

• If you’re feeling crafty -or have kids around- make a day of it by decorating paper yourselves!
no-repeat;left top;;
auto

Cooking

Plan Ahead

It’s no surprise, but the #1 thing you can do to cut back on food waste is to PLAN! That’s why I refer to a simple meal planning guide to get a sense of how many portions I should account for per person, and I take the time to make a detailed list before going to the store.

There’s always plenty for seconds (and even thirds!) on the table, but it cuts down on my own stress of whether or not I made enough.

Give Leftovers New Life

In a year, 63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten. So if you have too much food left over, don’t trash it! First off, I suggest having a dozen empty mason jars on hand so that guests can dish up their favourites and take them home.

For what remains, there’s always another use for leftovers that aren’t turkey sandwiches. It’s amazing how gravy or leftover squash can become a soup base. Or, those mashed potatoes can top off a shepherd’s pie. It’s so easy to stuff stuffing into peppers and roast them. Of course, if you are short on time, pop leftovers in the freezer. Your January self will thank you for a complete Christmas meal in the new year.
no-repeat;left top;;
auto

Sweet Idea: Cookie Swap!

Rather than buying over-packaged chocolates, I try to bake during the holidays. The downside is, baking several different sweets can be a TON of work.

The beauty of the cookie swap is that you bake 1 recipe in a large quantity (5-10 dozen), and so do your friends. Then, you get together and swap so that you leave with the same number of cookies you came with, but in an assorted variety!
no-repeat;left top;;
auto

Plate Problems?

Do you not have enough dishes for your guests? There are a lot of alternatives that aren’t paper or plastic:

• For a uniform look, rent what you need. The bonus is that rental companies often- times allow you to return the dishes dirty

• Find a set second hand at your local thrift shop- who knows, you might end up liking them more than your original plates!

• Ask a friend or two to bring their plates

• Last but not least, turn it into a bring your own plate party (BYOP) for an eclectic look!
no-repeat;left top;;
auto

Low-Impact Ornaments

There are SO many options to have décor that’s festive and sustainable instead of plastic and shipped across the world. I like to start with what I already have at my fingertips, so here are a few of my favourites from this year.

Need some more inspiration? I love the detailed list that The Mini Smallholder has put together. From drying citrus fruit to make a fragrant chain, to incredible paper-made ornaments, there are options for everyone to repurpose what’s already available.

Celebrating doesn’t have to benefit us in the moment and then harm us and the environment in the long term. I’ve loved sharing my passion for the environment with friends and family by showing different ways to celebrate which are also low impact on our most precious resources. It’s the gift that keeps on giving – to you, me and the planet!

Feel great (and green) about the holiday season!
no-repeat;left top;;
auto

Candice Batista is an award-winning environmental journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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