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Evergreen’s 23 Tips for a Sustainable Holiday Season

Learn from Evergreen Brick Works on how to incorporate eco-consciousness into your holiday shopping, dinner, and more!

Shopping at the Holiday Market

1. Be creative with your gift wrap - Use textiles. Rather than disposable paper gift wrap, use a locally produced t-shirt, dish towel or scarf to wrap your more delicate gift. Check out our handmade textile vendors like Nisba Cashmere Shawls and  TresBello, or find a special second-hand gem from the Ontario Vintage Market on Sundays!

2. Buy gift items that will last! Take a stand against fast fashion with well-crafted items from a local maker. Our Holiday Market vendor Susie Waldman creates many pieces in their collection by combining vintage and upcycled components with new ones, resulting in unique necklaces, bracelets and earrings that will last. 

3. Prep for your holiday shopping day. If you know you’re going out for a day of holiday shopping, bring a bag that will fit everything in it, a water bottle and reusable mug to avoid single-use items.

4. Look for products made by hand from completely natural materials. Our Holiday Market vendor Stone and Hide’s handmade leather bag is made from locally sourced leather from cows processed for food, handmade with no glue or other adhesives used. When it is no longer usable it is completely biodegradable. 

5. Bar soap and solid shampoo bars are a great way to reduce waste for everyday use items. Our Holiday Market vendors like SaltZ&Co and Newt by Elle make solid soaps and/or shampoos to cut down on single-use plastic bottles and harmful chemicals that do not biodegrade. 

hand painted bamboo spoons

6. Support a collective that is focused on building community. For our Holiday Market vendor 778 Arts Collective, a sustainable world is one in which communities, not consumption, are equated with happiness. Plus, they sell zero-waste handmade cutlery sets!

Christmas Trees from Evergreen Garden Market

7. Turn your Christmas tree into a winter playground. After the holidays are done and you’ve taken your real Christmas tree down, think twice about discarding it. Take inspiration from our Children’s Garden, where we turn leftover trees from Evergreen Garden Market into forts and hideaways! 

child with wood cookies

8. Chop your Christmas tree into wood cookies. From drink coasters to giant tic-tac-toe pieces, sawing the trunk of your Christmas tree into wood cookies means your Christmas tree will live a second life and you’ll have something to remember that special holiday season. Come visit and take inspiration from our Community Tree at Evergreen Garden Market!

9. Make bird feeder ornaments for your Christmas tree. If you have an outdoor Christmas tree, make bird feeder ornaments! These help our winter wildlife survive, creates little to no waste, and makes a great holiday activity or handmade gift. We have the bird seed to get you started at Evergreen Garden Market. 

More from Evergreen Garden Market

10. Equip others to opt out of single-use plastics. At Evergreen Garden Market, we sell beautiful reusable travel mugs and water bottles, which make great gifts while giving your loved ones the tools they need to stop using disposable coffee cups and water bottles.

11. Help someone start a garden. Even without a backyard, the knowledgeable staff at Evergreen Garden Market can help guide you on the tools, seeds and soil needed to start a vegetable garden. With this, you can help someone take food security into their own hands and grow fresh food.

12. Buy a book for a group of friends. Choose a book from Evergreen Garden Market (if it’s about environmental sustainability, even better) and gift it to a group of friends. This promotes the sharing economy and gives them something special to talk about!

Transportation

13. Take public transportation! With this time of year notoriously bad for road congestion, you can avoid the traffic and excess carbon emissions by travelling via public transportation. To get to Evergreen Brick Works, you can take the 28 South Bus from Davisville Station or our free shuttle bus from the parkette just north of Broadview Station. Learn more here.

Walk through the valley

14. Walk through the valley. Toronto’s Don Valley is a hidden winter wonderland, right in the city! The more you explore it, the more familiar you’ll be with navigating your city in new ways and appreciating our natural surroundings. Join us on a guided walk for Winter Village! 

15. Share a ride with Lyft, our official rideshare partner! Select the Shared option and you’ll reduce your impact by travelling in numbers. Plus, we offer promo codes for you to get to or from Evergreen Brick Works. For new Lyft riders, enter the promo code EVERGREENNEW and for returning Lyft riders, enter the promo code EVERGREEN2019.

Holiday Dinner

16. Buy meat from your local farmer at the Saturday Farmers Market. Toronto’s largest farmers’ market means so many choices for your holiday meats! Go with the classic roast beef or turkey, or try goose or lamb! When you buy meat from a local farmer, you can ask them about what makes their farming methods good for the earth. Plus, having these conversations may lead to an interesting story that you can share over your holiday dinner!

17. Get your veggies from your local farmer at the Saturday Farmers Market. Many of the dishes that are popular traditions with the holiday season - mashed potatoes, roasted parsnips and carrots, cranberry sauce - are so because they are in season! Since you’re shopping for them anyway, try buying local this year. 

Fit Cricket snacks

18. Eat crickets. Our Holiday Market vendor Fit Cricket sells snacks made with crickets. Cricket production is 20 times more efficient as a protein source than cattle, and produces 80 times less methane. Plus, they’re an interesting conversation starter!

19. Store your food in beeswax wrap. After your meal, avoid using single-use saran wrap and opt for beeswax wrap, which can be washed and reused again and again! We have it for sale at Evergreen Garden Market, pick up a pack when you do your holiday dinner shopping. 

The gift of experiences

20. Sign someone up for skating lessons. A perfect gift for the new year, Evergreen offers skating lessons for all ages and skill levels. Learn or improve your on-ice skills on a picturesque rink unlike any other in the city, especially since it features an ECO CHILL® refrigeration system for sustainable cooling. If you'd like to sign someone up as a gift, e-mail skating@evergreen.ca.

Group pointing at something in the quarry

21. Sign someone up for kids’ clubs. At Evergreen’s Nature Nuts or Sprouts Kids' Clubs, kids will learn lifelong skills to appreciate and grow their interest in nature in new and fun ways! Plus, giving the gift of an experience has no packaging waste. If you'd like to sign someone up as a gift, e-mail camp@evergreen.ca.

22. Take that special someone out for dinner. Our on-site restaurant Cafe Belong is Feast On certified, committed to sourcing ingredients from local Ontario farms and building “an awareness of our environment, how it nourishes us and what we must do to have this relationship continue.”

Donate

Kids playing outside in winter

23. Give the gift that keeps giving. Donate to Evergreen in someone’s name and help us turn spaces into places where the world can experience sustainable practices in action!