‘Tis the Season to be Sustainable

Tree Branch with Berries Covered in Snow

By: Kassie Burns

As snow starts to fall and holidays quickly approach, we thought it would be a perfect time to share 5 tips to create a more sustainable holiday season! Although holidays often bring friends and family together, it can generate incredible amounts of waste through food and décor. Luckily, there are some tips that can allow you to enjoy your company and give back to our environment!

1. Cook for your guests and not the neighbourhood!

If you associate turkey, lavish meals, and stuffed stomachs with winter holidays you are not alone, but it is important to consider the amount of food you make to avoid waste!

  • Try to plan ahead to know how many guests to cook for and if they plan to bring food.
  • Avoid buying in bulk and know the ingredients you have at home.
  • Think of people’s favourites so they want to eat it all and change up foods that were not a hit!
  • Tell your meal ideas to someone else to see if you might want to cut back on anything.

2. Turn leftovers into new delicious meals!

Sometimes leftovers are inevitable, but they do not have to be a chore to eat!

  • Have fun being creative to come up with ways to use your leftovers! For some inspiration head over to Insanely Good Recopies to turn holiday leftovers into meals you will definitely want again!
  • Try to utilize all parts of food, turkey and other meat bones are great for making delicious broths!
  • If there is food waste, make sure to compost it!

3. Purchase ingredients locally and/or grow your own!

  • Buying local is an excellent way to help support your community!
  • Look for ethically sourced ingredients!
  • Go wild and choose plant-based ingredients only or reduce the amount of meat in your meal!
  • Visit Brock’s Seed Library to start growing your own ingredients at no cost! Things like herbs can be grown in doors anytime of the year!

4. Leave plastic behind and decorate with organic material!

  • Why spend money on decorations this year when you can utilize beautiful pinecones, natural wreaths, assorted branch display and other greenery! After the holidays, these items can be saved or composted.
  • Save and reuse the decorations you already have!
  • Avoid using inflatable decorations to save energy (Nettos, 2020).
  • Consider alternative means of wrapping presents with cloths, tins, jars, reusable material found at home or paper!

5. Enjoy the weather outside!

  • Skip time on screens and electronic devices and instead spend time outside this year on the amazing trails of Niagara! Click here for a list in your area.
  • Brock itself is situated on a UNESCO Biosphere and has several beautiful trails including the Bruce Trail. Learn more on trails that surround Brock here.
  • Have fun making snow angels, forts, and snow people!

Share your sustainable winter holidays online with us @BUsustaibale on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to be highlighted on our story!


Nettos, M. (2020, October 29). Five Tips On How to Have a Sustainable At-Home Halloween. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from https://brocku.ca/sustainability/2020/10/29/five-tips-on-how-to-have-a-sustainable-at-home-halloween/



Categories: Student Contributor, Sustainability