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Go Green for the Holidays: 6 Ideas for a Sustainable Season

Evergreen's tips for how to make this holiday season more sustainable. 

Skating at Evergreen Brick Works
Top image caption: Skating at Evergreen Brick Works

Published on November 19, 2021

Who says that an increased environmental footprint and the holiday season must go hand in hand? The holidays can in fact be a great time to support local businesses, repurpose forgotten about items, try new experiences, give back, and get creative. 

With the holidays quickly approaching, here are 6 ideas for how to have a sustainable holiday season. 

1. Get a sustainably sourced tree

With the ongoing debate of which is more sustainable: a real tree or a fake tree, if you do end up deciding to get a real tree, consider getting one that is sourced from a local, sustainable tree farm.  

If you're located in the GTA, you’re in luck because over 900 sustainably sourced trees were delivered to the Evergreen Garden Market on November 11th. More trees will be delivered over the next few weeks so make sure to head over there while they’re still in stock. 

2. Give the gift of an experience

Gifting experiences is a great way to minimize waste produced throughout the holiday season, while providing memories that will last a lifetime. Here are a few ideas: 

1. Skating Lessons at Evergreen Brick Works – Sign someone up for skating lessons! Evergreen Brick Works has one of the most unique skating rinks in Toronto. The rink weaves through snow-covered gardens under exposed beams from the roof of the old brick factory.  

2. A cooking class – Food Network Canada lists 10 unique online cooking classes available in Canada. 

3. A Parks Pass – Give the gift of a Discovery Pass from Parks Canada to get access 80 parks across Canada.  

4. A museum membership - Destination Canada lists the top 15 museums to visit in Canada. 

3. Support local artisans

Many small, local businesses earn most of their revenue during the holidays. Shifting even a small percentage of your holiday shopping from big box stores to local shops can have a huge impact. 

The Holiday Market at Evergreen Brick Works is the perfect place to shop for gifts as we have over 40 local artists and makers in attendance. You can choose from an array of clothing, jewelry, fine art, crafts, ceramics, woodwork and more. The Holiday Market is free to attend and open from December 17-22, 2021.

 

4. Donate to a charity

Giving back during the holidays can be a rewarding and positive experience for everyone involved. A few ways to do this are collecting food and donating it to your local food bank, volunteering at shelters, and donating toys to those in need. Some of the items that food banks need most this holiday season are oatmeal, barley, canned chicken, peanut butter, and shelf stable milk. 

Also, if you're looking for a gift for that person in your life who is hard to buy for, you can make a donation on their behalf. Consider donating to organizations such as Evergreen that work to solve some of the most pressing environmental issues that cities face, such as climate change and access to nature and public spaces. 

5. Thrift your holiday outfits

Are you guilty of buying a new outfit for every holiday party that you attend? Don’t worry, we are too! Thrifting your holiday outfits can be a great way to lessen your environmental footprint and even save some money this holiday season. Be sure to check out Evergreen’s Holiday Market when searching for the perfect holiday outfit, as we will have a number of vendors selling timeless second-hand clothes.  

 

6. Prepare a sustainably sourced feast

One way to make your festive feasts more sustainable is by sourcing ingredients locally. Luckily, many vegetables are in season in Ontario in December including, red onions, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, and garlic. Vendors that will be at our farmers’ market this winter are Fresh and Tasty MushroomsJoyfully Organic FarmReyes FarmsBuschbeck FarmForbes Wild Foods, and many more. Shopping for local ingredients this holiday season will allow you to nourish the people you love, while nourishing the place you live.