Holiday Habits That Help Wildlife

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The holiday season is BUSY. As we set out to decorate trees, wrap presents and gather with loved ones, my hope is that we can keep wildlife in mind. So much of what we do as humans has consequence for the animals sharing space with us, and being slightly more conscious of our actions can prevent so much harm, leading to a more peaceful coexistence. 

Let's highlight some simple habits and actions that will be appreciated by wildlife this season. 

  • Get a real Christmas tree! We understand that for safety, allergies and many other reasons this may not be an option for everyone. However, we did a review blog last season about whether fake or real trees are a "greener" option, and real trees came out as a winner. You can read that full blog here.  Additionally, when you are done with your real tree - there is much that can be done to repurpose it - for wildlife! 
  • Recycle and/or repurpose your tree after the season is over. There is so much you can do with real trees after the fact. Our favourite option? Putting it upright in your yard to be a shelter and feeding spot for birds and other wildlife. Additionally, many wildlife sanctuaries take donations of trees after Christmas. You can even make wreaths or other crafts! Check out our full blog on repurposing and reusing your tree after the fact here. 

Cardinal pair in a repurposed Christmas tree covered in BarkButter. Photo by Leanne Leblanc. 

  • Avoid Plastic Wrapping Paper: A lot of wrapping paper contains glitters or plastics that cannot be recycled in any way. Plastic pollution heavily affects wildlife, particularly birds. If you can, do your part this holiday season to make sure the wrapping paper you use is environmentally friendly, plastic-free and can be recycled. For some fun ideas on how to make recycled brown paper wrapped presents *Pinterest worthy*, read our former blog on Eco-Friendly Wrapping Ideas here. 

I promise you can make environmentally friendly wrapping look gorgeous! 

  • Secure Garbage and Recycling: this is something we tend to have even more of, during the holiday season. Plastic pollution affects birds and other wildlife in BIG ways, including ingesting plastics, having plastics become entangled in their nests, getting foreign objects stuck on their bodies and more Please always wash and secure recycling and garbage to avoid this type of harm. 
  • Use Reusable Bags to Shop: with a lot of shopping happening right now, make the choice to use reusable bags during your shopping trips to drastically reduce the amount of plastic bags that undoubtedly end up in our environment. If you have ever seen a bag caught in a tree (I see it sadly quite often), those become traps for birds. The less of them there are out there, the better. Read more about some plastic-avoidant habits and how they can help birds on our former blog, Protect Birds by Being the Solution to Plastic Pollution, here. 
  • Give the Gift of Birding! Developing a deeper appreciation for nature, makes us more innately likely to protect it. So many of us find great solace in bird watching and it is an amazing thing to gift to another person. Birds fill us with wonder and I don't think there is a single person that is immune to the amazement that accompanies new birds visiting your yard. To check out our holiday gift guide, read our full article here. 

As the days until Christmas dwindle, we hope you are finding joy this season. We hope you make choices that bring you joy and foster a closer connection to nature. 

All the best this holiday season. May all your birding wishes come true! 



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