CMNews and CCRD partner for 'Waste Friendly' Christmas Writing Contest

An Earth Friendly Holiday Season

By Lauren Harrison
Grade 12

It’s finally the holiday season and you can’t keep your eyes off a giant box that has been staring you down for weeks.  Beautifully wrapped with a bow on top, the satisfaction of ripping into the wrapping paper to discover your gift is like biting into a piece of your favorite cake; perfect. Seldom do we consider the amount of wrapping paper that goes to waste around the holiday season, or the amount of waste we produce around this time of the year, but instead we are focused on the prize inside. The holiday season is filled with all kinds of joy, and with that often comes all kinds of waste.

As the season for joy, decorating, and gift-giving approaches, many residents of Bella Coola turn to their computers and begin to online shop, snagging all the popular items for friends and family. Online shopping is a go-to for many residents in the Valley because it is such an isolated community, and the selection is limited.  This doesn’t mean you can’t find something special for someone special at a local shop. A quick and easy alternative to minimizing time, money, and the stress of online shopping is to shop locally.

When supporting local businesses, 48 of 100 dollars spent will stay in the community, you will reduce the amount of packaging that would originally be sent to the landfill, and you will not have to deal with extra charges such as shipping.  Others options are to make homemade gifts or simply give the gift of company and togetherness.  By taking these simple steps you will support local businesses, eliminate the amount of packaging that comes with items made by large corporations, and have a memorable holiday.

All of the beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree will put smiles on many faces, but the environment will be frowning at us. When wrapping your gifts this holiday season think reuse, reduce, and recycle. Make your gift wrap personal by creating your own patterns, using recycled paper, or getting creative with old newspapers. When you finally get to unwrapping, save some of the paper for other uses such as next year’s wrapping, fire starter, confetti, crafts, or send it to the recycling depot, rather than sending it to the landfill. Who doesn’t love a delicious dinner, surrounded by friends and family during the holidays?

Whether it is baked goods, eggnog, turkey dinner or an alternative, many Canadian families love to indulge come this time of the year.  With large portions of food comes a large amount of waste. Fortunately there is a simple solution to the problem. This Christmas, reduce food waste by making reasonable amounts of food that you know you will use. If you happen to have too much, which happens to be the case more often than not, have leftovers the next day, give them away, or freeze them for a later date.

This year, work towards promoting and participating in an earth friendly holiday season. Reducing, reusing, and recycling do not have to be complicated. There are many solutions to reducing or eliminating waste.  The suggestions above will help you to put a smile on Mother Nature’s face all while enjoying the holidays with friends and family.


The Low Waste Christmas

By Ruby Ratcliff
Grade 7

Last year my New Year’s resolution was to reduce my waste and garbage production but I haven’t been doing a very good job so far, so at Christmas I am going to accomplish my resolution before its time to make a new one.

So, I have the kids making glittery homemade Christmas cards for the family. They have been making one to three cards every day for the past three or so weeks. We are on our way to Grandmas to borrow some of her million Christmas decoration sets to decorate our tree and house. We have a choice of red, all green or all gold decoration sets and some that are a mixture of everything plus much more. We picked the one that was an assortment of animals with sparkly Santa hats.

Grandpa is taking the kids to go pick out a Christmas tree. I am staying home to tidy up the house before another huge mess is made.It’s two days until Christmas, the tree is up and beautifully decorated and the cards are sent away, hopefully they arrive in time for Christmas.

The kids are at auntie Kate’s so I have time to do some last minute Christmas shopping and present wrapping without the children around. I am using the gift bags I saved from the last year and out of date newspaper to wrap the majority of my presents.

It is Christmas Eve day so I am helping my anxious children make chocolate chip cookies to put out for Santa tonight. Later we will go buy carrots from the local farmers market for the reindeer. These are some of the ways I have reduced my waste this Christmas.

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