Since the opening of Ivy Rouge, one of Canada’s first bottle-free new home communities, we here at Starlane have been putting lots of careful thought and consideration into simple ways to be more environmentally friendly. With the holidays quickly approaching, we thought it would be a great time to offer some simple tips to help keep sustainability in mind this season. From gifts to food to decorations, we are here to help you make low-waste decisions that will have a big impact.
1. One of the most sustainable ways to reduce your environmental impact is by using what you already have. This is the case with almost all things, but especially with holiday decorations! Take time to sort through the decorations you already own, or find ways to repurpose other items to be decorations.
2. DIY décor is a fun way to express your creativity while being conscious of the amount of waste you produce. Use old magazines, pieces of fabric, glass jars, tin cans, and whatever else you can get your hands on to make one-of-a-kind creations that can help bring festive spirit into your home. You can even make a family-activity out of it by scavenging for rocks, pine cones, shells and plants to include in your decorations. Use all of your thrifty materials to make things like wall hangings, ornaments, tablescapes and more.
3. Confetti and glitter are made from micro plastics that can find their way into our water systems when we wash them away. Using environmentally friendly glitter alternatives like bio-glitter is a great way to decorate without worrying about all of the side-effects that can come with traditional glitter. For eco-conscious confetti, create your own by using a hole puncher on dried leaves or flower petals.
4. Being aware of the packaging materials on certain items is a simple way to reduce the amount of plastic you put into the waste cycle. When possible, buy candles in glass jars rather than plastic containers. Glass is easier to recycle and can be repurposed for other things after your candles are done.
5. Gift wrapping can create quite a lot of waste. Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and the heaps of tape and ribbons that we use almost always end up in the garbage. Using low-impact gift wrapping is a great way to unleash your creativity and make a difference in the amount of post-holiday waste your home puts out. Wrap gifts with easy-to-recycle brown paper decorated with drawings or stamps, use paper washi tape instead of regular tape, and decorate parcels with natural string, pinecones and sprigs of herbs or pine instead of ribbons and bows.
1. Get thrifty with your gift purchases and try your hand at shopping second-hand! This is especially great for if you want to make someone a gift basket or know they are a lover of books!
2. Give the gift of sustainability with zero-waste products like travel mugs, reusable water bottles, silicone zipper-lock bags, stainless steel straws, and other fantastic low-waste alternatives.
3. Take the time to really think through your gift purchases for your loved ones so that you get them something you know they will make use of. The longer a gift stays out of the garbage, the better it is for the environment. Thoughtful gifts are more likely to get used than filler gifts that someone may have no real use for.
4. Food and drinks are some of the best gifts you can give someone. Whether you purchase or make something yourself, giving someone the gift of a delicious meal or treat is a sure way to make sure that your gift gets used (or in this case, eaten!).
5. Get crafty with DIY gifts made from items you can find at your local bulk store. For example, make bath salts scented with essential oils and dried flower petals or jars full of the best sweets and treats.
6. Plants, seeds and terrariums are wonderful gifts that bring colour and life into any home. But, remember to be mindful of the amount of light in the recipient’s home when choosing which kind of plant you would like to gift them.
7. A memorable experience is one of the best things you can gift someone. A cooking class together, tickets to a show, a weekend away or even a custom staycation will be fondly remembered by your loved one for years to come.
1. Do as much shopping as you can in bulk stores to help reduce the amount of food packaging you have to throw away. Most bulk stores will even allow you to bring your own reusable container to fill up and will weigh it before you put anything in it so that you only pay for what you put inside.
2. Show off your skills as a kitchen wizard and make as much food as you can from scratch. Not only will this save you money and give you a chance to use bulk store ingredients instead of pre-packaged food, but cooking can also be a great family bonding activity if you get everyone involved. Food made from scratch is also often better for you!
3. Freeze produce that doesn’t get used for holiday dinners and use it at a later date. Leftover vegetables can be used in soup, chilli or sauces and fruit is great for smoothies!
Every home at Ivy Rouge comes with a state-of-the-art BWT Woda-Pure water filtration system. This built-in system turns ordinary tap water into high-quality, drinkable filtered water. With a system such as this one, it is simple to make the necessary changes to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that enter every home. Our goal is that changes like this made across the board will encourage and help support sustainable lifestyles for all Starlane homeowners.
Click here to learn more about Ivy Rouge and our bottle-free initiative. To learn about all of our upcoming new home communities, register for email updates and follow us on Instagram at @starlanehomes.