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Tis the season to create holiday memories, not garbage

It’s the season of giving, but it’s also the season of garbage.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) is urging you to 'create holiday memories, not garbage' this winter.

“The ‘Create Holiday Memories, Not Garbage’ is a campaign courtesy of our partners at Metro Vancouver,” explains Cynthia Coates, waste reduction facilitator at the RDCO.

"It's a festive, fun, resource friendly campaign providing some great gift and wrapping ideas that people may not have thought of. It also reduces the amount of waste generated during the holiday season.

<who>Photo Credit: RDCO

The idea is to give gifts of experiences rather than more stuff that is often in plastic packaging, needs wrapping paper and could even be a gift that produces more waste when it’s in use.

Typically, the idea would be to give someone tickets to a local hockey game, the ski hill or a movie, or even something simple like a trip to the spa or starting a new hobby with a loved one.

However, a lot of that is made a little more difficult by the pandemic this year, so ideas could include organizing a winter hike with your family bubble, offering dog walking or cat sitting services, signing someone up for an online class or making homemade treats for your friends and neighbours.

There is no way to completely escape giving physical gifts around the holiday season, but Coates says you can take steps against producing waste if that’s the route you choose to take.

“You can always make choices on packaging that’s more easily recyclable in our program,” said Coates. “A really good portion of the packaging is recyclable so we can still get that away from the landfill at least and have it recycled.”

Another suggestion is using reusable gift bags rather than wrapping paper and if you must wrap, avoid foil based papers because they’re not recyclable. You can also use things like newspaper to wrap your gifts, or a tea towel that can be put back into use after present opening is complete.

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