Skip to content

Recycle BC shares tips with Langley residents on how to reduce holiday waste

Here are a few tips on how to have a more eco-friendly holiday season
Tree chipping is just one of the methods that can be used to make this holiday season more eco-friendly. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

With all of the gifts, decorations, food, and other purchases made during the holiday season, the garbage and waste are likely to pile up pretty fast. That’s why Recycle BC and Metro Vancouver have offered a few tips for reducing holiday waste in the coming weeks.

Shop local: When buying holiday gifts, it is recommended that people shop at local stores first over online locations. Not only will this help support local businesses over mega-chain stores, but it will also negate the need for wasteful and excessive packaging that is often used when purchasing online items.

Use recyclable wrapping paper: Not all wrapping paper can be recycled, so it’s important that people use the right type when wrapping their gifts this season. Paper gift wrap is the most eco-friendly option as it can be tossed into the paper recycle bins afterward, whereas plastic and foil gift wraps cannot be recycled. It’s also essential to remove any bows, ribbons, or other non-paper decorations before recycling the gift wrap.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s blue box recycling system to accept more items

Recycle old/broken lights: Many recycling centres will gladly accept old or broken holiday lights, so there’s no need to throw them out if/when they stop working or are no longer needed.

Use natural materials for decorations: When decorating homes or gifts, especially when constructing things like wreaths, it’s always better to use materials from nature rather than buying synthesized goods. So try to incorporate things like pinecones, leaves, twigs, and branches to create a natural beauty in any space this holiday season.

Buy potted/alternative Christmas trees: There are plenty of more eco-friendly Christmas tree options available to the public rather than going out and buying a real one that will be dead within a few weeks. Purchasing a potted tree will allow someone to transplant the plant into their garden after the holidays are over. There’s also the option to buy reusable “fake” trees or get extra creative and create a tree out of things like books or picture frames.

Bring real trees to chipping events: If a real tree is used, then don’t simply toss it out afterward. Instead, bring it to a local tree-chipping event, where it will be chopped up and composted.

Avoid single-use materials: Swap out the paper plates, plastic utensils, paper napkins, and other single-use items for the more eco-friendly alternatives. It will lead to more cleanup, but will also greatly cut down on holiday waste.

READ ALSO: Groups want plastic waste reduced at the source as B.C. expands recycling list

For more information on how to have an eco-friendly holiday season, visit

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
Read more