Ways to make the holidays more planet-friendly





Written by: Katrina Gorrie, British Columbia Coordinator

Write to Katrina

This year, Relay Education wants to help you, help the planet. Here are our tips for a planet-friendly holiday season. We hope you and your loved ones have a safe and cheerful end to the year.

Last-minute gift ideas

Help your loved ones be more sustainable in their daily lives by purchasing some basics. Reusable straws, beeswax wrap, reusable metal or glass containers, and reusable shopping bags are all excellent stocking stuffers that your loved ones are sure to appreciate. Also, giving a gift of an experience with a gift card for an outing is also a wonderful low waste gift idea. 

Sustainable holiday meals

Try sourcing your ingredients for holiday meals locally to cut down on your impact and also support local farmers. Another great option is to cut down on the amount of meat dishes in and try vegetarian and vegan options to replace traditional meat dishes. There are plenty of delicious vegetarian roasts and meat free adaptations of your favourite traditional recipes. We recommend this mushroom tourtiere – you’ll love it, we promise! 

Gift decorating 

Every year, Canadians throw away 100,000 elephants worth (540,000 tons) of wrapping paper during the holiday season. Did you know that wrapping paper isn’t just made from paper and therefore is not recyclable? Shiny, sparkly, laminated paper looks beautiful under the tree, but it cannot be recycled. Have no fear, you can still have beautiful packaging while being kind to the earth. Try reusing old fabric, repurposing your gently-used tote bags, or wrapping in recyclable materials such as newspaper or plain brown paper.  

If you are looking to enhance your gifts, try making some sustainable holiday crafts, find festive trinkets at the antique store, or forage for foliage around your local forest to add to your presents for extra flair. 

Sustainable, COVID friendly holiday activities

Getting together with family and friends is going to be different this year. Because of COVID, the usual holiday visits may not be possible. However, there are still ways to have fun with your loved ones, even if you can’t be together in person. There are many fun activities that have been adapted to online formats that you can partake in over the internet with your friends and family. Try taking part in a virtual escape room, or travel halfway across the world to visit a winter land in this Reykjavik walking tour video. If you want to keep it simple, set up a video call with a loved one and try making a holiday recipe together.

Give a donation as a gift

Donations need no wrapping or packaging, and you help out your favourite organizations who trying to better the world. Make a donation in someone’s name by giving to a charity you love.

Relay is raising donations for virtual school workshops for classrooms across Canada. You can make a gift here