Giving Responsibly Over The Holidays

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons—it all adds up. It’s not just trash, energy consumption skyrockets too.


Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day. This saves energy and lights last longer. Recycle unwanted or broken string lights.

Take reusable cloth bags on shopping trips. Thousands of bags end up in our landfills during the holidays. Reduce the number of bags by bringing reusable shopping bags for holiday gift shopping. If you do use paper bags or plastic bags, recycle them when you no longer need them.

The average person spends $800 on gifts over the holiday season. Regardless of the number of presents you would like to give it is still possible to reduce the amount of waste produced by the giving of your gifts. There are endless articles and lists devoted to the options available for giving great green gifts. Here are some of our thoughts: Consider the durability of a product before you buy it as a gift. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing you money.

1. Consider the durability of a product before you buy it as a gift. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing you money.

2. Giving the gift of an experience is a great option for children who want to give family gifts but don’t have the money or a way to buy them. Let children know that homemade gifts and gifts of their time are more valuable to you. Sometimes the most cherished gifts we can give are our time, love and energy. Give an experience or an event to remember, such as:

  • Make a charitable donation in someone else’s name.
  • Candlelit dinner
  • Tickets to a concert sporting event
  • Passes to a favorite park
  • Gift certificates to dinner, for a massage or day at the spa
  • Membership to a museum or gallery
  • Make a coupon or gift certificate that offers your time to walk a pet, babysit or help with extra chores

More ways to Reduce

Another area to reduce is on packaging. The excessive packaging waste that this holiday season creates is overwhelming. My rule, if you wouldn’t put up with the amount of packaging any other time of year, don’t now.

Send recycled-content greeting cards to reduce the amount of virgin paper used during the holidays. Remember to recycle any paper cards you receive. You can also try sending electronic greeting cards to reduce paper waste.

Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.

Have a create-your-own-decorations party! Invite family and friends to create and use holiday decorations such as ornaments made from old greeting cards or cookie dough, garlands made from strung popcorn or cranberries, wreaths made from natural local greens and flowers, and potpourri made from kitchen spices such as cinnamon and cloves.


Re-gift? Honestly, sometimes it’s ok, but generally speaking it’s not the best idea. However, giving items that are made from recycled materials will allow you to reuse without re-gifting!

Give gifts that don’t require much packaging, such as concert tickets or gift certificates.

Save & reuse wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons and bows.

Giving Responsibly Over The Holidays

Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or funny papers. Some other great gift wrapping ideas:

  • Scarves, handkerchiefs, and bandannas
  • Old posters and maps
  • Newspapers (the comic sections works great)
  • A present in a present.  Place gifts inside reusable containers like cookie tins, flower pots, and baskets or wrap gift in cloth napkins or kitchen towels.
  • Give a “treasure map” to find an unwrapped gift hidden elsewhere in the house
  • Wrap gifts in your children’s or your own artwork
  • Look through old magazines, catalogs and calendars to use attractive photos

Use re-useable or re-used gift bags.

Replace ribbons and bows with natural evergreens, berries, dried flowers. Keep them as decorations or compost them after the gifts are unwrapped.

Reuse or recycle used wrapping paper.


When buying gifts, check product labels to determine an item’s recyclability and whether it is made from recycled materials. Buying recycled encourages manufacturers to make more recycled-content products available. Buying recyclable tells manufacturers that this is important to us.

Dealing with your recycling is easy both during and after the holidays. With 8 large, clean locations in Whistler, the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island, Regional Recycling has a location near you.

We pay full refund on deposit items including all types of beverage containers, more than any other bottle depot. We buy scrap metal and recycle more items than any other recycling depot. And, we recycle old and broken tvs, computers, appliances, electronics, toys and more. Our locations also have a number of donation bins where you can donate clothing & books to local charities.

We really are your one stop recycling shop!

If you need assistance bringing your recycling in, we work withMission Possible who will pick your recycling up for a fee.

We at Regional Recycling would like to wish you and your families a very happy holiday season! We look forward to seeing you at one of our depots soon.