Did you know that Canadians generate 545,000 tonnes of waste from giftwrapping and shopping bags each year?!
Add to that frantic online searches for the perfect – albeit over-packaged – gifts, wasted food and other unsustainable habits, and Canadian household waste can jump by 25 per cent each holiday season.
“Sometimes we get so caught up in the season that we forget the things that are important,” says Donna Gumprich, the owner of the ethical clothing and gift boutique. “With these tips, it’s easy to remember how to shop mindfully.”
1. Choose Canadian-made, reusable products
Rushed deliveries from international distributors can mean more polluting vehicles on the road and less money remaining in Canadian communities.
“There are so many great Canadian companies making reusable products,” Gumprich says. “Colibri comes to mind with their line of easy-to-clean reusable sandwich and snack bags made by two sisters in Manitoba.”
Québec’s OLA Bamboo makeup remover pads are another great stocking stuffer.
“We have a set that comes with a mesh laundry bag. The pads go in there and then get tossed into the washing machine.”
For the fashion-savvy on your list, look for eco-friendly denim from Second Yoga Jeans. The Canadian creators of comfort use an an exclusive waistband, four-way stretch and shape memory technology to produce denim in a wide selection of fits and washes.
“Cheap, mass-produced T-shirts and other ‘fast fashion’ are a big contributor to landfills,” Gumprich notes. “But you can be sure ‘slow fashions’ made in Canada are of good quality and last much longer.”
2. Opt for eco-friendly containers
She also offers bulk refills of cleaning supplies and toiletries to in-store customers, including everything you need to custom-make body butter, scrubs and lip balms. “We fill mason jars and peanut butter jars … one customer even filled a coffee cup with hand soap because he forgot his regular container!”
3. Gift an experience
Sometimes, it’s best not to buy any “thing” at all.
Experiences can be extremely enriching – why Gumprich often opts to take her grandkids on a special trip rather than buying toys.
“We don’t sell experiences at All Things Being Eco, per se, but we certainly promote them as part of a zero waste lifestyle!”
All Things Being Eco will have extended hours for the Christmas shopping season. In addition to regular store hours, which are Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the store will be open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays throughout December.