‘Green’ Christmas on everyone’s wishlist

When it comes to an environmentally-friendly ‘green’ Christmas behaviour, B.C. is among the leaders.

When it comes to an environmentally-friendly ‘green’ Christmas behaviour, B.C. is among the leaders in holiday sustainability.

An Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by Waste Management found British Columbians have a relatively good awareness of recycling programs in their communities but still trail behind other provinces when it comes to green practices during the holidays.

Ninety per cent of British Columbians know that they can recycle their Christmas trees, but only half are using reusable bags while shopping, falling behind Quebec with 65 per cent.

“Plastic bags are a difficult material to deal with in the waste stream,” said Waste Management spokesman, Chris Lynch. “While more plastic bags are being recycled, too many end up in the landfill, especially during the holidays when consumption is above average.”

When it comes to Christmas decorations, LED lights have been found to be more energy efficient than the incandescent variety. The survey revealed that 56 per cent of British Columbians are using LEDs to decorate their homes during the holidays, more than Quebec with 42 per cent, but not quite as many as in the Saskatchewan/Manitoba region with 67 per cent.

Waste Management offers the following tips to Canadians interested in conserving this holiday season:

* When wrapping presents, look for alternatives to buying new wrapping paper.

* Bring reusable shopping bags with you to the mall and grocery store.

* When those new gifts come in, find a consignment store or shelter where you can donate old, working devices and clothing.

* Re-gifting those unwanted presents cuts back on holiday spending and waste.

* Many communities have Christmas tree-mulching programs that will compost your tree after the holidays.