12 Days of Pitching In

DAY 11 – Wrapping Paper Alternatives

Did you know that during the holiday season, each home produces 25% more waste that ends up in our landfills? It’s truly sad and the only way to fix it is by educating ourselves on how to have a ‘zero waste’ Holiday season.

We tend to get so busy during the holidays and for convenience we take the easy route. For example, we head to the dollar store to grab wrapping paper for our last minute gifts. Or we go to Walmart to pick up the cutest gift bag. What if I told you that you can wrap your child’s new hand crafted stuffy with your husbands old shirt? Or buying thrifted fabric?! It is super simple and helps our environment in a huge way. For larger gifts, hide them in another room, cover with a sheet or blanket and then leave a card with clues or a riddle as to their whereabouts. Below are a list of items you can use to wrap your gifts this year:

-Fabric (Japanese Style of wrapping)
-Men’s Shirts
-Reusable Containers (Jars)
-Cloth bag
-Rope (alternative to a plastic bow)


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DIY ugly christmas sweater


Day 10 – The Ugly Sweater

A lot of people love to dress very festive during the holidays and that usually includes the very famous ugly Christmas sweater. Just in case you wondered where this trend came from, here is a bit of history of the ugly Christmas sweater…. Bill Cosby was a modern-day pioneer of the trend and is known as an ugly sweater icon. As Cliff Huxtable on his 80’s sitcom, the family man’s uniform of choice was a woolly pullover with questionable colour mixing and patterns. Thanks to Cosby, as well as Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the ugly Christmas sweater was born.

So now it’s your company Christmas party and you want to impress them by having the
UGLIEST, most obnoxious ugly sweater ever. There are so many ways that people create these sweaters. So below as inspiration, we have attached some great ideas for your ‘ugliest’ sweater.

What you will need:
– Craft glue or hot glue gun
– Old Christmas ties
– Bells
– Christmas decorations from the thrift store
– Fabric or Felt (for animals or extra detail)
– Sizer
– Recycled paper


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DAY 9 – Waste Free Stocking Stuffers

Now that Christmas is right around the corner, many of us are scrambling to get last minute gifts. Don’t forget the stocking stuffers! Here at PITCH-IN Canada we have come up with a list of our favourite green stocking stuffers perfect for everyone, and eco-friendly!


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 Day 8 – Eco Friendly and Plantable Christmas Cards

Did you know that there are Christmas (and all types) of cards that are made from  plantable seed paper? Not only can you reduce paper usage, but you can plant these cards that will grow into flowers, herbs, and vegetables! Feel good about sending a card that will get talked about and remembered as a thoughtful, environmentally friendly alternative!
See an example here:

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Photo by Pudelek (CC license)

DAY 7 –  Christmas Lights and Energy Savings

For most of us who celebrate Christmas, the use of lights is a way to help create that cozy glow feeling that is prevalent during the season. However, these lights do contribute to energy consumption that has a direct effect on the environment and your pocketbook. Switching to LED lights is beneficial because they operate at a lower cost and are more energy efficient. These lights are bright and vibrant which also use up to a whopping 80% less energy than their conventional counterparts. Energy saving lights also last longer and help save on replacement costs. For use outside and inside, the benefits are clear as your energy consumption cost will be reduced while using a safer, cooler light.


12 Days of Pitching In

Photo by Emin Bashirov (CC license)

DAY 6 –  Christmas Party Food Trays

This year, skip the plastic pre-made food trays and make your own! Save money and waste with a little preparation when it comes to those party trays. Pre-made trays often cost a lot more than simply preparing your own, so with a little effort, you can make spectacular and tasty trays for your gatherings. Here are some tips to keep these trays cost effective and minimize waste:

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Photo from Flickr  (CC license)

Day 5 – Zero Waste Gifts

Who doesn’t love to give a good gift? I would bet that you do! How do you give a gift that is truly unique, customized, and of high quality? Well…. keep reading. The holiday season is so full of waste that ends up in our landfills, and hurts our environment more than we truly realize. This season, everyone at PITCH-IN Canada encourages you to buy or create zero waste gifts to give to your loved ones and friends. We also encourage you give an experience, rather than a gift. Here is a list of ideas:


– Reusable napkins
– Reusable grocery bags
– Water bottle
– Glass food storage
– Wooden serving trays
– Book bag
– Knit or crochet blanket
– Vintage market carts, or baskets
– Memberships
– E-book
– DIY jewelry

– Stainless steel kitchen utensils or straws
– Shave kit with stainless steel razor
– Stainless steal ice cube tray
– Zero waste toiletry set
– Plastic free camp set
– Knitted socks
– Wooden hangers

– Plastic free cosmetics
– DIY beauty/bath tea
– Homemade body scrub
– DIY body balms
– Perfume
– Organic cotton undergarments
– DIY pillows, mats, rugs, or blankets
– Vintage compact
– Thrifted designer hand bag
– DIY sleep mask
– Natural rubber flip flops
– A painting
– DIY distressed thrifted LEVIS

– Plastic free water bottle
– Vintage vinyl
– A science kit
– Library membership
– Second hand books
– Homemade crayons
– Theater/concert tickets
– Fabric lunch bag
– Second hand clothes

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photo from Morgue File

DAY 4 – Thrift Store Shopping

It’s the beginning of the holiday season and the parties are hitting everyone at full force. Did you know that to buy your perfect holiday party outfit, you are actually contributing to the waste that gets dumped into our landfills every year? Holiday parties are always so fun to dress up for, but sometimes you have a look in your closet and you think, ‘I have nothing to wear.’ Fear no more, because we have the best 6 tips on how to find the perfect party outfit and look like a million bucks, but in reality, it’s from the second-hand store and you got it for less than 15 bucks!


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DAY-3 Homemade Christmas decorations

The most fun and creative Christmas decorations are the ones that are made right at home! What better way to customize and create a homemade atmosphere at Christmas than make your own? It’s a great activity that you and your children will love and remember for the rest of their lives. Popcorn and cranberry strings are an all time favourite that are fun to make and fill the air with wonderful aromas. The possibilities are endless and only limited to your imagination. Here are a few suggestions that are fun and easy to make.

The 12 Days of Pitching-In

The PITCH-IN Guide to a waste reduced holiday!

Each day for 12 days we will provide you with one new holiday tip to assist you in a “Greener” holiday season.

Enjoy! And a Happy Holiday Season from all of us at the PITCH-IN Team!

***Reminder PITCH-IN Week Registration open January 15, 2018 at www.pitch-in.ca ***

Photo by Wonderlane (cc-attribution)

Day 2 – Christmas Trees & Environmental Considerations

Many consumers and families use artificial Christmas trees thinking that they are saving the life of a real tree, and therefore being more eco-friendly. However, artificial trees leave a large ecological footprint on the environment once they are discarded. Artificial trees are difficult and in some regions unable to be recycled due to their oil based composition. Artificial trees do not break down naturally, and if incinerated, they release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.

Real Christmas trees are a better “green” choice as they are recyclable, compostable, and sustainable. The trees often take 8 to 12 years to grow and provide a home to many ecosystems, as well as small birds and animals. As long as consumers use local tree farms (less fuel consumption) and recycle/chip them after use, real trees are a better option. Real trees have a lesser impact than artificial, but unfortunately are not without an impact with the use of pesticides, water usage, and the energy used to recycle them.

Live potted Christmas trees are an environmentally friendly option, provided you are able to take care of the tree and successfully replant it in the spring season. A lot of people who buy these trees with good intentions are unable to keep these trees alive and they end up in landfills or being recycled, defeating the purpose. These trees will survive if kept indoors for a short period as to not interrupt their dormant stage. They then must be planted in the appropriate season as to not dehydrate them in the winter. So they are a good choice if you are able to give them the necessary TLC.