White or Green Christmas?

 

Are you someone who cares deeply about the environment and wants to find a more eco-responsible way to celebrate the holidays? Here are a few small tips that can make a big difference!            

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Give Smart
  • Buy gifts made locally and, if possible, made with recycled materials. Better: self made!
  • Use wrapping paper made from recycled pulp fibers – preferably not metallic-surface paper or anything with a high gloss.
  • Instead of wrapping every little item, try putting gifts into a re-usable basket or bag, using ribbons and bows to decorate.
  • Reduce the amount of tape you use by getting good at wrapping with ribbons, or practice Furoshiki.
  • Re-use whatever’s on hand as creative wrapping paper; last year’s calendars, posters, cards, newspapers… even last year’s gift wrap!
  • Make your own greeting cards from recycled paper or photographs, it’s much more personal.
  • Instead of a package, offer your time as a gift!

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Lighten Up on Lights
  • Use low-consumption lights – LED long-service lights, for example.
  • At night, turn off your exterior and tree lights. Even better, put them on a timer so that they go off automatically.
  • Try candles at the dinner table – it saves electricity and is more romantic!
  • Don’t burn old wrapping paper or cardboard packages in the fireplace – put in the recycling bin everything you can!
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Deck the Halls
  • Make your own festive decorations from natural or recycled materials instead of buying new ones every year; why not make it a family activity?
  • Remember that inflatable lawn decorations use up a lot of energy.
  • Try to avoid decorations that only get used once and then get tossed away.
  • Be minimalist with lights and other decorations that use electricity; do not do this.

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Leftovers
  • Bring food to the party in reusable containers, not disposable ones.
  • Use real dishes instead of throw-away ones.
  • Keep a recycling bag handy throughout the festivities and encourage everyone to fill it.
  • Take a moment to go through your pantry and closets; donate to a local charity or community center.
  • If your family enjoys a real evergreen as a Christmas tree, find out when and how your town collects them for proper disposal.

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Pleasure counts!

This is the time of year when consumption of goods is at its highest, including all the traditional foods enjoyed around the table. It’s also the perfect time to get out and enjoy some time in nature, preferably with close friends and family. Try to change the balance this year, by consuming less and being more active. Chances are, it will make your celebrations even more special!

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Do you have any eco-responsible tips for celebrating? We’d love to hear from you!

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Web Directory:

– http://eartheasy.com/give_sustainchristmas.htm

– http://www.equineo.com/_objets/fiches/guide-ecoresponsable-1842.pdf

– http://www.recyc-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/client/fr/rubriques/Nouvelles.asp?id=464

http://www.ec.gc.ca/biosphere/default.asp?lang=fr&n=0CFE35E7-1

– http://www.petitgestevert.ca/trucs-ecologiques/revez-d%e2%80%99un-noel-blanc-mais-optez-pour-un-noel-vert/

-http://www.majuscule.eu/actualites/pour-un-noel-plus-vert

– http://www.lebelage.ca/argent_et_droits/consommation_et_habitation/joyeux_noel_vert.php

– http://www.monplanvert.com/ressources/passez-un-noel-vert.html

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About the Author
Marie-Eve Chapdelaine

Marie-Eve Chapdelaine is a specialist in sustainable development and has worked at Cascades since 2006. She is particularly interested in building public awareness and changing attitudes regarding social and environmental issues. In her role at Cascades, Marie-Eve uses her expertise to inform, guide and support her colleagues in maintaining the company’s leadership position in sustainable development. She has earned an undergraduate degree in public communications from Université Laval and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in environment at Université de Sherbrooke. “I’ve always been interested in environmental causes, but also in social issues. Sustainable development allows me to pursue both interests at once. What better than to work at Cascades, a beacon in this area, and a company that is open to implementing all sorts of measures to improve performance and maintain its leadership position.” Because she believes every citizen needs to take responsibility for improving their living environment, Marie-Eve is also socially engaged, sitting on several community boards and committees.

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