Choose to be “Conservative” for Christmas

🕔Dec 03, 2008

Consider buying nothing, but doing something. We all have too much! (Just make sure everyone is in agreement so you don’t end up feeling like Scrooge.)

  • When you buy, be selective. Think about production and disposal of the gift. Was the manufacturing process highly toxic? What will happen to the gift at the end of its life—will it end up in the landfill and then outlive your great grandchildren? How far was the item shipped? How much packaging comes with the item? Is it possible to buy the item from an ethically sourced manufacturer at fair-trade prices? Can you buy something local instead?
  • Consider re-gifting (rewrapped, unused items, to someone other than the original giver).
  • Avoid wrapping paper and ribbons. Make it a family event to sew up fabric gift bags that can be reused and tailored for the gift recipient (imagine your five-year-old son sewing his Star Wars gift bag for Santa to use!)
  • Instead of a Christmas tree, donate to a worthwhile organization. * Or have a tree, but downsize it (I knew a family who surrounded their four-inch-tall toy tree with gifts and the two young girls were no less excited when they said, “Come see our tree!”)
  • If you love that fir scent, bring back the folksy decorated tree, strung with popcorn and handmade decorations.
  • Use LED lights and turn them off at night.
  • Buy local meat to eat during your feast, and eat by candlelight.

For more information, go to:

• Natural Resources Canada – Energy Efficiency:

• BC Hydro – Powersmart: