Eco-event shows Calgarians the importance of being environmentally friendly

thumb LaurenMangionIt’s Christmas morning and you gather around the Christmas tree with your family. You spot your presents — delicately wrapped with colourful paper, tied in ribbons and topped with a bow. You can’t possibly wait any longer to open them.

Suddenly, you rip off the gift tag and attack the present. You tear off the wrapper and find your gift packed tightly in three layers of industrial grade plastic. You gnaw at the corners of the packaging with your teeth, you slash it with scissors and you viciously stab at it with knives. Finally, the magical package opens and you’re able enjoy your shiny new present.

 While the holiday season can bring lots of joy and cheer, it can also bring lots of waste. With all the wrapping, bows, ties, boxes, bags, gift tags and greeting cards, we often end up with overflowing garbage bags on Christmas morning.

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Green Calgary ran their third annual sustainable gift giving workshop to remind Calgarians how to be less wasteful this holiday season.

Jori Baum, healthy homes advisor at Green Calgary, says to keep in mind that plenty of resources go into a gift.

“(Gifts) don’t always come from sustainable sources so you have to think about the transportation of those goods, as well as the resources, water and energy that goes into manufacturing those goods,” Baum says.

She recommends giving local, handmade or reusable gifts in order to reduce the negative environmental impact.

“We are here to celebrate family and friends, not stuff,” she says. “Make sure to give gifts that people actually need.”

Approximately 10 people attended the event and were given the opportunity to make their own lip balm, hand scrub and natural all-purpose disinfectant solution. Demonstrations included alternative gift-wrapping techniques and how to make your own gift tags.

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How do you plan on giving green this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.

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