Government of New Brunswick

In the cold New Brunswick wintertime, there's nothing we like better than a celebration. Our holiday traditions include family and friends, good music and wonderful food, exchanging gifts and decorating our homes. Over the years, these traditions have remained much the same, but our way of carrying them out has changed quite a bit. Celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, as well as other special days on our calendars, has come to mean a flurry of shopping and wrapping, baking and decorating, visiting ... and cleaning up afterwards.

Unfortunately, a hurried approach to holiday events can often be quite costly and also has an impact on our environment. It is estimated that Canadians spend $4 billion on wrappings, decorations and gifts, each winter carried home in 55 million plastic bags a week. One-third of all our household garbage is packaging materials. Another third is food wastes. It's also easy to forget the gasoline burned and energy consumed as part of our holiday activities.

Happily, many of us are beginning to take a closer look at our holiday habits. By making a few simple changes, New Brunswickers are learning that we can save money, contribute to a healthier environment, and embrace the traditions and true meaning of the special occasions in our lives.

Here are some ideas to help you get started on planning and enjoying a 'green' holiday season.