Celebrate Sustainably: 5 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Holiday at Home
It's the most wonderful time of the year. But for many families with festive plans and hectic schedules, it's also the most wasteful.
According to one survey, for example, 60% of respondents admitted to throwing away more than usual during the holiday months as they filled up their trash bins with uneaten food, wrapping paper, gift bags, and commercial packaging.1
The reality is, Canadians routinely toss about 25% more trash during the holidays, according to Zero Waste Canada.2In fact, we throw away so much wrapping paper that the waste, combined with castoff shopping bags, is estimated to weigh as much as 100,000 elephants.2,3
As our holiday schedules grow busier, many of us also forget to take simple steps at home to shrink our carbon footprints or prepare for a more energy-efficient winter.
Luckily, it’s not that hard to shift our habits and plan for a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly celebration. Here are five ideas for ringing in the holidays this year without overstressing Mother Nature.
1. PREP YOUR HOME FOR WINTER
Depending on the amount of time and resources you have available, you could cut your carbon emissions significantly this season just by winterizing your home. According to Natural Resources Canada, around 61% of the average home's energy usage goes to heating.4
Investing in a more sustainable way to warm up your surroundings, such as a conventional or cold climate heat pump, could be especially impactful if your current HVAC is underperforming. The Canadian Climate Institute's Heat Pump Calculator estimates that homeowners can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year by switching from a gas furnace to a more energy-efficient heat pump.5 Replacing old appliances or things like chronically leaking windows with newer, more energy-efficient solutions can also save you money over the long term.6 Plus, you may qualify for a federal grant or...