12 Days of Christmas

Posted on December 12, 2015

In the lead up to Christmas, sometimes it's hard to avoid getting swept up in the hustle and bustle of the season.  However, we'd like to humbly suggest we take the next 12 days to do something nice for the planet. It's a gift for your children, your grandchilden, and all of your generations to come. So here goes...

Dec 13 - put up LED lights sparingly rather than the old fashioned energy consuming incandescent lights.  You'll be using less energy and still get a chance to smile at those pretty holiday lights. Even better? Set a timer so that the lights are on for peak enjoyment and go off when you don't need them to light up.

Dec 14 - need to buy decorations? Consider purchasing second hand ornaments from places like Value Village, Goodwill, and other thrift stores. Not only will you be supporting great charities, you'll be saving some beautiful decorations from ending up in the landfill.

Dec 15 - if you are looking to buy gifts for colleagues or hosts, think edible - wine, local ales (Village Brewery comes to mind) or local cheeses and other goodies so that you aren't contributing to more stuff.

Dec 16 - for your holiday party, think re-usable, local, and simple.  Need ideas for throwing a greener holiday party? Check out our blog on greening your celebration.

Dec 17 - need ideas to wrap up those presents for under the tree? Avoid the disposable wrapping paper and consider using other materials - fabric, re-usable gift bags, or check out these great gift wrapping ideas.

Dec 18 - if you're looking to buy gifts for the kids, check out these great ideas including suggestions for the gift of experiences, time with family and quality over quantity.

Dec 19 - donate to a local charity. What to give to the person who has it all? Why not make a donation in their name and give back to those less fortunate than you and your loved ones. The food bank, a local shelter, or charity that works on making a difference that's near and dear to your heart is a great gift that you can feel good about. Oh, and did you know, Green Calgary is also a charity and donations go to great local environmental programs?

Dec 20 - change your furnace filter regularly so it runs more efficiently. And think about putting window film on drafty windows and replacing any door sweeps to help winterize your home. As the cold weather continues, now is the time to make sure you're doing those little things to save energy (and your wallet) while keeping warm.

Dec 21 - reduce your junk mail.  Yes, we sell a No Junk Mail Sticker (which is a great stocking stuffer) but there are other ways to avoid many of those pieces of mail you don't need. Check out our handy tips to take yourself off marketing lists.

Dec 22 - get a real tree. A "live" potted tree would be great but often has a hard time being transplanted outside once it's spent a week or two in a nice toasty house. But real trees can be mulched and recycled locally.  Just make sure you keep it watered well while indoors and dispose of it through The City's recycling program.

Dec 23 - there's no denying that food is an important part of the holidays.  But keep in mind that in North America, we waste up to a third of the food we buy during the holiday season.  Not only is that food often destined for the landfill where it will create greenhouse gases, we're also throwing our hard earned money away.  It can be easy to avoid food waste by following these simple tips.

Dec 24 - twas the night before...and the season is the time to be with loved ones! Think about taking a walk in the snow or going ice skating at an outdoor rink together, or having a board game night. Appreciating nature or celebrating with family and friends doesn't have to cost money or use up a lot of energy and can be a chance to relax, unwind, and give thanks for all that you have.

Dec 25 - at last, it's here! Be kind to one another and to the earth. You've spent the last 12 days trying to reduce and re-use and now, don't forget to recycle what you can. Happy Christmas, everyone!