With the holiday season well underway, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and find yourself buried under excess waste, packaging and plastic. Here are 10 tips on keeping your holidays green and our shorelines clean without losing your holiday cheer:

  1. Reduce or Eliminate Wrapping Paper: One of the biggest sources of waste from the holiday season is wrapping paper. Reduce your consumption of gift wrap by choosing reusable gift bags, using newspaper or old magazines or re-using old wrapping paper.
  2. Give Green Gifts: Give a gift that is good for the environment and supports a good cause. The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre has a wide array of green gift options including the Gift of Membership, the Killer Whale Adoption program, and our Aquadopt sea otter and beluga packages.

    Green gift ideas from the Vancouver Aquarium

    Symbolically adopt an animal this holiday season and support animal conservation.

  3. Get Crafty: Tap into your inner artist and make homemade Christmas décor or get the whole family involved in a holiday craft night.
  4. Get Real: Choose a live Christmas tree this year over artificial. Artificial trees are made with petroleum-based materials and are often shipped thousands of miles before they reach your living room. If a live tree doesn’t suit you, consider making your own tree out of recycled material. Our Marine Debris Tree in the lower Teck Engagement Gallery uses plastic and other debris as Christmas ornaments. A visual reminder of the impact of plastics on our oceans and shorelines.

    Marine Debris Christmas Tree at Vancouver Aquarium

    Visit the Aquarium this holiday season to see the marine debris tree up close.

  5. Recycle Packaging from Gifts: Once the presents are open and the chaos of Christmas morning has subsided, set some time aside to properly recycle all of the gift packaging. Better yet, aim to purchase gifts with minimal to no excess packaging in the first place.
  6. Choose Sustainable Seafood: Purchase ocean friendly shrimp platters or crab cakes this holiday season. Look for the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise symbol or ask about sustainable alternatives.

    Choose Sustainable Ocean Wise Seafood

    Look for sustainable seafood choices for your holiday parties.

  7. Hold a Zero-Waste Holiday Party: Don’t have enough dishes to host everyone for Christmas dinner? Consider shopping for second hand items or asking everyone to bring a few extra dishes along. This eliminates the need for paper plates and plastic utensils. Set out separate bins for easy sorting of recyclables and compost leftover food.
  8. Use LED Lighting: LED lights are 90 per cent more efficient than traditional Christmas lights and last longer — up to 10,000 hours compared with 5,000 hours for incandescent bulbs. Not only does this save you money on your electricity bill, you’ll spend less time tracking down that one burnt out bulb in your string of lights.

    Green family friendly holiday ideas

    Enjoy LED Lighting and a family friendly outing at Stanley park this holiday season.

  9. Choose Green Activities: Get out from the cold and choose a green themed holiday event to attend. Our new expansion utilizes energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and has led with LEED Silver sustainability standards. Enjoy a walk around Stanley Park and check out the holiday programming at the Aquarium for an environmentally friendly afternoon.

    Scuba Claus at the Vancouver Aquarium

    Scuba Claus waves hello to Aquarium visitors!

  10. Go Electronic: The Hallmark Canada website declares,If all the Hallmark Christmas cards sold in Canada were lined up end to end, they would stretch back and forth from Toronto to the North Pole six times.” That is a lot of holiday cards. Opt for e-cards this holiday season like our digital Aquarium holiday card to help reduce paper waste. Happy Holidays from all your aquatic friends at the Vancouver Aquarium! [youtube]http://youtu.be/nxBxfjLCc1M[/youtube]


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One Response

  1. peter clarkson

    Great suggestions! Thanks for posting these. We all play a role in reducing consumption and frivilous waste. Together we can make a difference. Thanks to the Aquarium for being a leader on this issue.


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