Guide to Celebrating Sustainably in Edmonton this Season

Dec 13, 2023

Trim down on holiday excess (and your carbon footprint) and give back to the community with our eco and social-friendly guide to celebrating this season sustainably! Whether you are looking for a unique gift, a way to reduce waste, want to localize your gifting, or find meaningful ways to give back this season – this guide has got you covered!

Share the Local Love

Gift Social this Holiday

Contribute to sustainability goals and fair trade by getting some chocolates and delicious treats from Camino. If you care about supporting employment and skill training for young adults with disabilities in the GTA, Goodness Gifts has got you covered. Visit Buy Social Canada Certified Social Enterprises to discover businesses that produce the gifts you wish to give. Giving socially is not limited to gifts alone! Consider using a Certified Social Enterprise for your holiday party catering or to deliver gifts.

Sustainability is Santa's Middle Name

The Goodwill Impact Centre is the perfect stop for the DIYer, bargainista or upcycler in your life! It focuses on sustainability by upcycling and selling candles, modifying old bicycles for individuals who have disabilities, and producing towels and clothes from recycled textiles. Need a winter season card, a clipboard for a gift list, or need random material for your next cozy project? The Reuse Centre has got you covered! Come support local vendors and find gifts that are made with minimal packaging. While you’re there, check out the shelves to find holiday decorations for free!

Celebrate Food

Here are a few ways to support Edmonton's culinary scene:

  • Purchase a gift card to a local business. Discover some of Edmonton's best local restaurants here.
  • Send a surprise delivery to a friend or join a culinary subscription service.
  • Try your next culinary adventure with Executive Chef Serge Belair’s French-ie Cuisine cooking tutorials.
  • Attend a cooking class at the Edmonton Public Library’s Kitchen, which are free online!
  • Pick up specialty meats or the Field & Forest Holiday Bundle from The Butchery by RNG RD.
  • Have a special holiday night out at The Butternut Tree, where you'll find a menu of seasonal Canadian ingredients.
  • Order catering or take a private cooking class from Chef Scott Iserhoff's Pei Pei Chei Ow.

But wait, there's more! Craving a Spinach Pie that has an environmental footprint of 0.88 kg CO2e? We thought so. Check out High-Level Dinner's carbon footprint menu which will help you measure and understand your environmental impact. How cool is that?

It's a Wrap!

Edmonton’s household waste nearly doubles during the holiday season, making it crucial to minimize this environmental impact. Consider the following questions while holiday shopping:

  • Where is it coming from? Consider shopping at local holiday markets instead of ordering gifts online.
  • What’s being gifted? Consider giving experiences instead of items.
  • How is the gift being given? Use fabric gift bags or boxes instead of packaging or wrappings.

Reduce food waste by planning menus in advance. Rather than opting for disposable cutlery and containers, use items already in your cabinets. After the holidays, donate unopened treats and pantry staples to the food bank. Recycle wrapping papers and boxes, and dispose of batteries and broken Christmas lights at the ECO station for safe handling. For items with unclear disposal methods, consult the WasteWise app for guidance.

Experiences Are the Best Gift

This holiday season, consider giving gifts that reduce your environmental footprint and create positive change in the community. Celebrating sustainably is a small step that makes a BIG difference as we lighten our impact on the planet. Have a safe and happy holiday season!