How to Make your Holiday Festivities More Ocean Friendly in 2023


Words by Maddie Lemke

How to make your holiday festivities more ocean friendly in 2023

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s a time for celebration, spending time with loved ones, and giving back. At Campbell River Whale Watching, we’re not only passionate about marine mammals but also committed to preserving their environment. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to make your holiday celebrations more sustainable.

Eco-Friendly Decorations

Decorate with eco-conscious choices! Opt for LED lights, which are energy-efficient and long-lasting. Consider natural, biodegradable ornaments and wreaths. 

If you’re feeling creative, craft your own decorations from recycled material; you could even host a festive DIY party and invite friends and family to join in!

Mindful Gift-Giving

Gift-giving is an important tradition during the holidays. To keep it sustainable, consider these ideas:

  • DIY Gifts: Homemade gifts show thought and effort. Create personalized items, like hand-painted mugs, knitted scarves, or homemade jams.
  • Experience Gifts: Instead of physical items, gift experiences like a whale watching tour. It creates lasting memories and reduces material consumption.
  • Support Local and Sustainable Brands: Shop from local businesses that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices.
  • Reusable Wrapping: Wrap your gifts in reusable fabric or paper, or use gift bags that can be used year after year.

A Sustainable Meal

Food is a central part of holiday celebrations. Minimize food waste by planning meals carefully, utilizing leftovers, and composting food scraps. 

Consider sourcing locally produced and organic ingredients to support local communities and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance shipping. 

Have fun with trying out some plant-based recipes. Incorporating plant-based dishes into your menu, reduces your ecological footprint and supports sustainable farming practices.

Conscious Christmas Tree Choices

If you prefer a real Christmas tree, opt for a locally grown, sustainably harvested option. Ensure it is recycled properly after the holiday season. For an even more eco-friendly alternative, consider a potted tree that can be planted afterward, continuing its life beyond Christmas.

Reducing Energy Consumption

Make a conscious effort to reduce energy consumption during the holidays. Turn off decorations and lights when not needed, and consider using a timer to limit their usage. This small adjustment can make a big difference in your ecological impact.

Charitable Contributions

It’s the season of giving, and what better way to celebrate than by supporting marine conservation efforts? Consider making a donation to organizations like the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) that work tirelessly to protect our local marine life. Your contribution can have a lasting impact on the environment and future generations.

Eco-Friendly Hosting

If you’re hosting holiday celebrations, consider the following:

  • Reusable Tableware: Opt for reusable plates, cups, and utensils to reduce single-use plastic waste.
  • Eco-friendly Cleaning: Use natural cleaning products to minimize chemicals entering the water supply.
  • Decorate Responsibly: If you’re using disposable decorations, choose biodegradable or recyclable options.

Sustainable Travel

If you’re traveling for the holidays, look for eco-friendly transportation options, such as carpooling, taking public transit, or even offsetting your carbon footprint by supporting environmental initiatives. We recommend offsetting with our partner Wilderness International.

Dressing for the Festivities

While preparing for the festive celebrations, consider opting for a sustainable approach to your wardrobe. This year, challenge yourself to find the perfect Christmas party outfit from the depths of your own closet. If you’re feeling like you need something new, why not swap outfits with friends or family? Alternatively, explore second-hand shops to discover unique and eco-friendly fashion choices.

Reconnect to Nature

The true spirit of the festive season lies in spending quality time with loved ones. This year, make one of your holiday activities a refreshing walk around your local park or nature reserve. Embrace the winter atmosphere and keep an eye out for over-wintering birds. Enhance your nature walk with the Seek app, a fantastic tool that allows you to identify and learn more about local species. Moreover, using the app contributes to global biodiversity tracking efforts by scientists. Reconnecting to nature not only brings joy but also instills a sense of responsibility towards our planet. This festive season, let the outdoors be a part of your celebration, creating lasting memories surrounded by the beauty of the natural world.

Educate and Advocate

Lastly, share the message of sustainability with friends and family. Encourage them to make eco-friendly choices during the holidays and beyond. The more people are aware, the bigger the impact we can make together.

By embracing sustainability during the holidays, you’re not only contributing to a healthier planet but also helping to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the wonders of the sea.