WITH the holiday season upon us, Metro Vancouver wants to help residents think sustainably this Christmas, with its annual Create Memories, Not Garbage campaign. For almost a decade, this popular holiday waste reduction initiative has promoted experience-based, low-waste gift and decorating ideas so that fewer pieces of packaging and unwanted gifts end up being thrown away.
To inspire holiday cheer and get people into the sustainable spirit, Metro Vancouver is also debuting a new Create Memories carol by Vancouver duo Ben and Dan with a music video featuring the Aurora Winter Festival and the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival. The song launches today on QMFM radio with the video on Metro Vancouver social media and YouTube.
“Celebrating sustainably doesn’t mean the season has to lose its holiday spirit,” said Jack Froese, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “By doing just one thing differently, we can create less waste. Choose gifts that are made of sustainable material and will last a long time, or opt for giving experiences that will be enjoyed beyond the holiday. When wrapping gifts try using reusable materials like fabric or gift bags, newspaper, or old calendars instead of single-use wrap.”
A recent survey revealed that more than 80% of Metro Vancouver residents want to reduce their environmental impact during holidays but many feel they don’t have the time or information to try low-waste gift and wrapping ideas.
That’s where the Merry Memory Maker comes in, an online catalogue that features over 170 creative low-waste gift ideas by price range. The app has been updated this year to include more gift ideas, a directory of where to find each item, and the ability to save favourites to a wish list for later.
“Along with reducing waste this holiday season, we’re encouraging people to consider celebrating in ways that don’t involve plastic or packaging at all,” said Froese. “For most people, their cherished holiday memories are not of plastic and tinsel, but of the experiences shared with friends and family or long-lasting gifts that stay in use for years to come.”
Residents can also access the Merry Memory Maker and get low waste gift and wrapping ideas at these events:
- Aurora Winter Festival, November 29 – 30 (Vancouver)
- Georgia Cannery Christmas Market, December 1 (Steveston)
- Got Craft? Holiday Edition, December 7 – 8 (Vancouver)
Create Memories, Not Garbage runs until the end of December across the region online, on public transit, on social media and on TV. www.creatememoriesnotgarbage.ca