Sustainable holiday ideas: local edition

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As we begin to get closer to the holidays, we sometimes get caught up in the busyness of the season, and overlook the excess that can begin to occur. Whether it’s using more electricity for beautiful light displays, creating delicious meals for those we love, or purchasing gifts to tuck away under the tree, it’s no surprise that an individual carbon footprint can increase by an additional 1,400lbs1. With the average carbon footprint considered to be 16,000 – 22,000lbs2, the additional waste created during the holiday season can make an impact – and not necessarily a good one. 

But, it’s not all bad news! During this time of joy and excitement, there are lots of (easy) ideas to consider when looking at your carbon footprint, many of them with the benefit of supporting local.

What type of tree is best?

There are always the topics of using LED lights to reduce energy consumption, making your own decorations like paper chains or orange slice ornaments, and straying away from single-use plastic items. But more recently the conversation has been focused on what type of tree is most eco-friendly. While there are pros and cons to both real and artificial trees, it seems as though local tree farms provide the lowest carbon footprint for a few different reasons:

  • The trees are not being shipped a long distance.
  • On average, a tree farmer will plant 4 trees for everyone 1 tree cut.
  • They do not contain harsh plastic chemicals. 

There are two local tree farms in the Kimberley – Cranbrook area, both of which focus on the protection and health of the forest and wildlife. Head over to the Kootenay Tree Farms website or the Kootenay Evergreen website to learn more about their trees, processes, and care for the environment 

Want to learn more about the difference between real and artificial trees? Check out this article from GreenCitizen.

Support local farmers and producers

Trees aren’t the only things growing in our communities – an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use the food that is already grown and made here! We are so lucky to have an abundance of local products available to us from fresh produce to various meat products, and even tasty breads and desserts.

Check out our previous article on “Ways to support local after the Farmers’ Market” to learn how you can get your hands on these local goods.

Search out local gifts

This goes without saying, we have amazing local artisans as well! They cover all of the bases from artwork, to candles and soap, to knitted goods, and even premade craft kits for younger artisan lovers.

The best place to find these gifts is typically at a winter market, though many of these creators do have Instagram or Facebook too. While the Kimberley Farmers’ Market: Winter Edition has come to an end for the 2022 season, there are various small markets still occurring, including one final Cranbrook Farmers’ Market on December 17.

As you move through your holiday season, may this information encourage you to consider your consumption and waste, but more importantly encourage you to find the joy and excitement in new possibilities. Happy Holidays! 


The Hill: The carbon footprint of Christmas
Just Energy: How to calculate your carbon footprint