Kristen O’Keefe and Diane Rudge of The Den Ucluelet are dishing out tips for staying waste-free this holiday season. (Photo - Submitted)

COLUMN: Zero Waste Holidays, is it possible?

Kristen O’Keefe and Diane Rudge offer some suggestions on a sustainable holiday

By KRISTEN O’KEEFE AND DIANE RUDGE

Whether you are starting your journey on reducing single use items in your life, or are a veteran, here are some practical tips.

We all love to splurge on a loved one, gather around a table with friends and family and enjoy a yummy feast to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.

While reflecting on how to achieve a very abundant merry holiday season, we want to share some tips and tricks while keeping the 2 main R’s in mind ; Reduce & Reuse, yet still have a blast!

We will use “Reduce” for reducing waste in this case as are gifts are inevitable at this time of year, and although buying an experience is a great way to show your love and appreciation, sometimes, you just want to buy something for your special someone to hold and use, and that’s okay too!

Here are some tips to help promote a zero waste holiday.

Gift local made products at local stores.

This will not only support your community, but also reduce the gas emissions items made from afar will create shipping them from the manufacturer, to the warehouse, to the other warehouse, to the courier and finally to our home town.

Use creativity for wrapping your gift.

Ask your local shops if they have any wrapping items in their storage. Forage for cedar branches, and dehydrate fruit dried to add your personal touch on your wrapped items

Traveling during the holidays?

Pack your reusable mugs, beeswax wrappers, containers, straws, cutlery kits & market bags. Make an impact and inspire others while helping businesses reduce their waste by bringing your own.

Dressing up for a dinner party?

There are multiple thrift and second hand vintage shops along the pacific rim that are stocked with amazing natural fibre options to get a fresh look for the holidays. Another sustainable idea: host a holiday clothing swap with friends!

Hosting during the holidays?

Be prepared for the full house and fill up on your household needs. Also, encourage your guests to bring a “to go” container to help with the leftovers and reduce the food waste that happens this time of year.

Kristen O’Keefe and Diane Rudge co-own The Den Ucluelet, a zero waste soap dispensary and refillery.

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