In the spirit of sustainability, we wanted to share a few tips to recover from the holidays. It can be overwhelming, between Christmas and New Years Eve parties, entertainment and holiday events. The junk can really start to pile up. Remove any clutter or dust from the old year the right way with these five tips.

1. Cards, Paper Bags and Gift Wrap – Are Not Garbage!

That’s a wrap! The in-laws have left, the kids are back in school and it’s a brand new year, but you’re left with an astonishing amount of cutter from the holidays. Organization is key in this scenario. It is always tempting to shove all of the old paper into a big plastic garbage bag. But that is the last thing you want to do.

Identify if the paper is recyclable:

Holiday wrapping paper often contains certain, non-recyclable elements. These elements include laminate materials, plastic sparkles or artificial texture and designs. Test to see if you can recycle your cards or wrapping with these tips.

  • Remove all tape, ribbon or bows from the paper
  • Assess the material – some wrapping is made entirely of plastic. Learn about recycling plastic.
  • If the wrapping is made entirely of paper, put in it your paper recycling bin.

If you have any further questions, you can reference our recent blog post, “How to Sort Recycling at Home: Compost, Glass, Paper, and Plastic” for some additional helpful tips, and information regarding recycling additional materials.

2. Compost your Christmas Tree

It’s always sad to take down ornaments and see your Christmas tree go. In Vancouver, tree chipping events are the most common way to effectively compost your old Christmas tree. Most tree chipping stations require a small fee or food donation.

Proceeds are given to local charities. Tree chipping ensures your Christmas tree can be properly broken down and composted. This year there is also a Green Bin Service in certain locations. Have your Christmas tree taken from your driveway instead, you don’t even have to leave home.

Tree Chipping in Vancouver

Christmas tree chipping events
On January 6 and 7, 2018 Drop-off your Christmas tree from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at one of these locations:

  • Sunset Beach upper parking lot (Beach Avenue and Broughton Street)
  • Kitsilano Beach parking lot (Cornwall Avenue and Arbutus Street)
  • Trout Lake Community Centre parking lot (3360 Victoria Drive, south of E 12th Avenue)
  • Kerrisdale Ice Rink parking lot (5670 East Boulevard, north of 41st Avenue)

City Green Bin service – If you have Green Bin service, put your tree in your collection area by 7:00 am on Saturday, January 13 for pick up. Follow the instructions on the site link for more details about where to place your tree outside for pickup.

Tree chipping stations in greater Vancouver and the Lower Mainland – Visit this link for the entire list of tree chipping stations within the City of Vancouver and all surrounding areas in the Lower Mainland.

A Sustainable Christmas Tree Alternativerecycle christmas tree

Keep your Christmas tree year-round. Composting your tree is helpful, but preventing a tree from being cut down in the first place is even better!

  • Live tree – You can buy uncut trees and re-plant them after you use them for Christmas. This can be a slightly more messy option; you’ll be dealing with excess dirt from the potted tree, however, it is by far the most sustainable Christmas tree option.

3. Holiday Giveaway

Did you receive new clothes, tech or products? If so, it’s the perfect opportunity to get rid of your older things. Sort through your old clothes and possessions and decide if there’s anything in your current collection that you don’t need. It’s a great way to make a bit of money after the holidays as well or give back to the community. De-clutter and give to those who need it most.

Local Charities in Vancouver

The Salvation Army – The Salvation Army is one of the largest non-profit organizations in Canada. They accept food, clothes, and other gifts. Give back and find a location near you.

Covenant House – Help support homeless youth with the Christmas Backpack Program. You can fill a backpack with gifts and it will be given to the youth in need within metro Vancouver.

4. New Year, New You

Feel lighter mentally by de-cluttering your physical surroundings. While you’re donating old goods, extend the process to your home as well. It’s been said that decluttering your surroundings can also help to de-clutter and focus your mind.

It’s the perfect time for an office, apartment or home clean out. Read about our most recent office deconstruction project for inspiration. We transformed a cramped and cluttered office space into a beautiful, open concept office. You can do the same at home or at work with DIY renovations or simply by removing old furniture.

5. Fix Old Habits


Habits don’t disappear easily, but there are a few things you can do to slowly change old ways. If one of your New Years resolutions involves de-cluttering and cleaning up, it’s a great idea to call a junk removal company.

At Green Coast Rubbish, we know how harmful clutter can really be. You can read our past post about dealing with hoarding.

Call A Rubbish Removal Company

When there are larger items that need to be removed, it’s best to call a rubbish removal company. Don’t risk the heavy lifting! If you want your rubbish to be properly recycled and re-used, give Green Coast Rubbish a call. We sort and divert your rubbish, to keep everything out of landfills!