Twelve ways to a greener Christmas
Want to inspire your true love with earth-friendly gift ideas? Do you already have a partridge in a pear tree or seven swans a swimming? This holiday season – try giving the gift of green with these hints from the Ministry of Environment:
- If you get a small appliance for the holidays, don’t forget to recycle the old one because as of Oct. 1, 2011, that’s now an option in B.C.
- Take time over the holidays to send clothing, toys, footwear and furniture to a local thrift shop or food bank where it will be reused;
- Donate beverage container-recycling refunds to the charity of a loved one’s choice;
- Buy gifts with little or no excessive packaging and carry gifts home in reusable canvas bags;
- Wrap your gifts in recyclable wrapping paper and recycle all packaging and paper after Christmas – either reuse or put in your bin for collection;
- Consider joining other family members or perhaps work with a community group to sponsor a BC Parks’ limited-edition bench as part of its 100 park benches for 100 years of provincial parks program – a lasting legacy for Christmas;
- If you burn firewood, make sure you burn properly. Burn only clean, dry wood and never burn green, wet, painted or treated wood – including plywood. Check to see of your community has a wood stove exchange program
- If a new car is on your list for Santa – consider a clean energy vehicle (CEV) – rebates are now available;
- Now’s the time to trade in that tired old gas-guzzler for a transit pass, a new bike or even a new CEV and give a gift to the environment of fewer GHG emissions. New funding from the Province for the BC SCRAP-IT Program means you can part with your costly clunker in favour of greener and cleaner transportation;
- Try leaving the car at home as much as possible and use public transit over the holidays – your gift to the environment;
- Use LED lights on your tree and house to reduce your energy consumption and turn them off during the day;
- Are you wondering what to do with your Christmas tree after holidays? Recycle it by taking it to a tree-chipping event in your community.
- Each year Canadians generate a whopping 545,000 tonnes of waste from gift wrapping and shopping bags, and a good portion of that is generated at Christmas;
- An aluminum can takes 500 years to disintegrate, but approximately 1.4 million containers are diverted from B.C. landfills each year;
- A tin can takes 100 years to dissolve;
- Paper takes 80 years to break down;
- Plastic takes 1 million years to break down;
- B.C. has almost 1,000 parks and protected areas, offering amenities including: more than 340 campgrounds; 118 boat launches; 263 day-use areas; nearly 7,000 kilometres of trails;
- There are more than 13 qualifying Clean Energy Vehicles to choose from when looking at that new car;
- The BC SCRAP-IT program has scrapped over 30,000 vehicles and reduced about 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases since the program started.
Learn More: Learn more about air quality in your community: http://www.bcairquality.ca/ Find out more about the Scrap-It program at: http://www.scrapit.ca/ Find out what you can recycle and where at: http://rcbc.bc.ca/
Find out more about BC Parks 100 benches and other bench stories at: www.bcparkbench.ca