According to a recent Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by Waste Management looking at Canadians' environmental behaviours during the holidays, British Columbia is among the leaders in holiday sustainability.
British Columbians have a relatively good awareness of recycling programs in their communities, but still trail behind other provinces when it comes to green practices during the holidays.
Nine out of 10, 91 per cent of, British Columbians know that they can recycle their Christmas trees, but only half, 55 per cent, are using reusable bags while shopping, falling behind Quebec with 65 per cent.
"Plastic bags are a difficult material to deal with in the waste stream," said Waste Management spokesperson, Chris Lynch.
"While more plastic bags are being recycled, too many end up in the landfill, especially during the holidays when consumption is above average."
When it comes to Christmas decorations, LED lights have been found to be more energy efficient than the incandescent variety.
The survey revealed that 56 per cent of British Columbians use LEDs to decorate their homes during the holidays, more than Quebec with 42 per cent, but not quite as many as in the Saskatchewan and Manitoba region with 67 per cent.
"LED tree lights can save 90 per cent more energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights," said Lynch. "With a lifespan of approximately 20,000 hours, they can last for 40 holiday seasons. LED lights also burn less hot and reduce any risk associated with burns or fires."
Overall, the survey revealed that Canadians across the country are gearing up for a green holiday season, as public awareness about waste-reducing strategies grows.
Waste Management offers the following tips to Canadians interested in conserving this holiday season:
When wrapping presents, look for alternatives to buying new wrapping paper. This will save on costs and ensure that leftover paper does not go to waste.
Remember to bring reusable shopping bags with you to the mall as well as the grocery store, to help reduce the amount of plastic bags in the waste stream.
When those new toys come in, make sure the old ones do not end up in the trash. Find a local consignment store or shelter where you can donate old, working devices and clothing.
Don't be shy, re-gift. Re-gifting unwanted presents cuts back on holiday spending and waste.
Recycle your Christmas tree. Richmond has a treemulching program that will compost your tree after the holidays. Take your tree to Garry Point Park Jan. 7, 8 or to Richmond's recycling depot at 5555 Lynas Lane. For single-family dwellings, leave your Christmas tree at the curb side if cut down to 3 ft x 2 ft.
The full Ipsos Reid survey results can be found at http: //www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease. aspx?id=5425.