Oliver Berger of the Potato House was on hand selling one of the last batches of composted soil of 2019 at the last Williams Lake Farmer’s Market in October. This week Berger writes about his thoughts on the upcoming Earth Friendly Holiday Event. Patrick Davies photo.

COLUMN: Conservation Society invites community to Earth Friendly Holiday Event

We are confronted with the challenge of up to 30 per cent in waste due to holiday decorations

Oliver Berger

Special to The Tribune

Every year, through a collaboration with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society (CCCS), the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake (CACWL), the Scout Island Nature Centre (SINC), and many more amazing groups and volunteers, a beautiful event arises.

The annual Earth Friendly Holiday Event (EFHE) is being held at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre on Dec. 6, 2019 from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Dec. 7, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is completely free.

EFHE is all about creating the magic of the holidays without the excess waste and plastic.

This time of year, we are confronted with the challenge of a 25 to 30 per cent in waste due to holiday decorations and gift packaging.

If you’re looking for alternatives, this event is for you.

With natural items found around Cariboo country, we will create some classy, holiday-themed decorations or gifts for your home and loved ones.

It will all be made with sustainably-sourced natural materials which are compostable or totally recyclable afterwards.

Our most popular activity is the wreath building.

With boughs from cedars, firs, spruce and pine, woven together with grasses, dried flowers and decorative shrubbery topped with a few pine cones, the most amazing wreaths will be born.

Read More: Local residents hope to weigh in big on World Cleanup Day

The base of these wreaths is a repurposed bike rim which we can use year after year. Once the holidays are over, simply return your metal rim to CCCS and it will be used again next year.

If you are not able to return the rim to our office, be sure to give us a call if you have any questions on how to recycle the rim yourself so it doesn’t end up contaminating the wrong recycling stream!

In addition to creating art from nature, we will also have a Giving Tree.

For the last four years, the CACWL has collected “winter woollies” to hang up in our Giving Trees around the community.

Over the years, hundreds of items have been claimed by people who are just plain cold.

The CACWL is again asking you to go through your closets to find warm clothing that you no longer deem necessary for your life.

You can bring your ‘winter woollies’ donations along when you come to make your Earth Friendly Holiday crafts or drop them off at the Delainey Centre or the Library at any time.

Some of these items will be bagged and hung in trees on Oliver Street, along the route for the Winter Lights celebration parade.

At the end of the weekend, unclaimed items will be removed. Later in the season, during the cold months, these items will be once again hung up in a designated tree in Boitanio Park.

Read More: 9th annual Earth Friendly Holiday Event coming first weekend of December

All warm items are appreciated, but there is a special shout-out for socks, mittens and gloves.

Food and monetary donations will be accepted and will go towards the non-profit organizations that organize this event.

For those interested in joining CCCS and participating in our activities, we will have membership applications available and staff and directors on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Membership sales seriously help our local organizations keep going and are the best zero-waste gift around!

Oliver Berger is the chief green officer with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society (CCCS).

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