Photo: What to buy for the green-hearted?

Homemade holiday cards (Credit: Erika Rathje)

Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you? There's no better time than this holiday shopping season to check your list twice. With shopping and watching TV becoming new national past times, now is a great time to pause and reflect. Maybe spend quality time with family and friends instead.

According to Statistics Canada, 900,000 tonnes of garbage is produced between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. Think about the waste you're about to create before you buy. And if you're going to buy, buy less, used and local.

Green Gifts

This holiday season, what do you buy for the person that has everything?

Holiday gifts come in all shapes and sizes, but the best gifts are easy on the environment and keep on giving far beyond the holiday season.

Choose something from the new David Suzuki Foundation gift catalogue and support projects that find solutions to environmental issues.

Purchases made from our online store by Monday, December 21st will arrive in time to put under the tree. If you're a last minute shopper, you can also send an e-card to support our projects on grizzly bears, salmon or greening the workplace.


Freaked out about toy recalls? Not sure what's safe to buy for the kids in your life this holiday season (or any time of year for that matter)? Check out the Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys that ranks products and lists chemicals of concern. They've tested plastic and wood toys for lead, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other harmful chemicals. Last year, 20% of the 1,500 items they tested contained lead. Children's play jewellery ranked highest.

Holiday Cards and Gift Tags

Most trees logged in Canada's Boreal forest are pulped and turned into paper products — including flyers and catalogues. Sure paper is recyclable and, as a matter of fact, paper (and paperboard) accounts for over 50% of recycled and recovered goods. For this year's holiday cards, choose only 100% post consumer waste (PCW) paper, or send an e-card instead.

Saved last year's Christmas cards? Tear off the fronts and use them as postcards to send best wishes this holiday season. You could also cut up the decorative fronts into unique gift tags. Feeling extra creative? Cut them into cool shapes!

Do you have solutions to green-up the holiday season? Post a comment and share what's worked for you.

Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

December 16, 2009

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Post a comment


Dec 03, 2010
10:42 AM

Our family recycles our gift paper, tags, bows, tissue and bags. We try to carefully open our gifts and use it again next year, same with the bows. The tissue and bags are reused every year and with the tags we stick little peices of old wrapping paper or scraps to the inside of a tag so that it can be reused over and over again. We also have some of the decorative boxes that can be reused. It’s amazing how much you can cut down on what you throw away and how much money you save.

Dec 16, 2009
3:54 PM

What to give and who to give to? Consider making a charitable donation to honour someone special in your life or as a memerial to someone special you would like to remember. It is easy to do, it’s green, it requires no packaging, no wrapping and no shipping, no greenhouses gases. But it can do a world of good. The one who gives the gift gets a charitable tax receipt, saving income taxes, so you can make your gift a little bigger.

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