In Montreal, a zero-waste Christmas is easier than you think

Christmas sometimes gets a bad rap for producing a lot of waste, but a group of Montreal entrepreneurs is working to change that.

Buy reusable wrapping paper, gifts that can be passed on, says zero-waste market organizer

Vincent Dessureault hopes the eco-friendly Christmas market he helped organize in Verdun inspires people to think about waste that's created during the holidays. (Navneet Pall/CBC )

Christmas sometimes gets a bad rap for producing a lot of waste, but a group of Montreal entrepreneurs is working to change that.

On Saturday, Verdun's zero-waste grocery store, Épicerie LOCO, teamed up with zero-waste café, Le 5e, to host Fête de Noël Zéro Déchet, or Zero Waste Christmas.

"I think the big goal of the day is to see, 'There are nice gifts, there's a nice lifestyle I can fit into and actually create no waste and actually be more sustainable,'" said Vincent Dessureault, co-owner of Le 5e.

Eleven merchants sold soaps, mirrors and even offered services.

Tamaro Diallo sells eco-friendly diaper cleaning for $200 per month through her company, Katchoo, Inc.

She picks up diapers twice a week and said that, in the long run, it saves parents $1,000 per child and keeps 7,000 diapers out of the landfill.

"Usually, you know, people are like, 'Wow! I never knew this could exist," Diallo said.

Zero waste festival wants more Montrealers to embrace sustainable living

Easy ways to reduce waste

Dessureault said that people who couldn't get to the market can still make Christmas more eco-friendly by refusing to buy useless things.

"A good gift is useful and something that can be passed on," he said.

Even wrapping paper doesn't need to be tossed away — it can be reused if it's a good quality, he said.

"It's something strange, we just lost this old art of reusing stuff. It's easier than you think."

He added that it's important to support the local economy by getting gifts made in Montreal.

He admits they might be a bit more expensive than something made in China, but that the move is more economically and ecologically sound.

With files from Navneet Pall