Don't WASTE the Holidays
Did you know that waste per household increases by 25% in November and December? This makes the most wonderful time of the year one of the most wasteful times of the year! It’s easy to forget that the holidays can be wasteful when we’re so focused on how fun and delicious the holidays months are. That’s why it’s so important to think and plan ahead to avoid unnecessary waste during the holiday season.
Gifts, gifts, gifts!
The tradition of gift giving has made consumers increasingly materialistic and wasteful. Do your best to avoid gag gifts and knick knacks. Instead aim for one or two meaningful or functional gifts for your loved ones.
Be conscious about the gifts you are buying. Are they from ethical brands? Do they come packaged in a lot of plastic? Where can you shop sustainably? Purchasing from local or family owned businesses means a lot to small business owners. Choose brands that upcycle or use low waste processes. Or get creative and DIY your own gifts!
When wrapping gifts, opt for recycled or recyclable and reusable gift wrap and containers. Especially for loved ones in your own home, reusing gift bags and tissue paper that are still in good condition is a great way to reduce waste.
Have you ever received an unwanted or duplicate gift? Don’t pitch it, donate it to charity or find a home for it where it will be used and appreciated.
Merry and Bright!
Who doesn’t love holiday decorations?! I know I do! Unfortunately, most of it is harmful to the environment. However, there are ways to reduce your footprint during the holidays.
If you can, opt for LED christmas lights. They are brighter, use less energy, and typically last longer than conventional bulbs. Make sure your strand of lights are parallel circuits instead of series. This will prevent the whole strand of lights from going out when just one bulb is bad.
Picking out a tree can be a fun way to kick off the holidays with your family or friends! Putting up a real christmas tree is actually better for the environment than putting up a fake one. Fake trees are made from plastic and would need to be used for at least 5 years to offset the pollution produced to make it. Real trees, on the other hand, absorb carbon dioxide during their lifetime and can be composted after the holidays. Also check with your local nurseries, arborists, and park services to see if there are any donation programs where trees can be used for erosion prevention in your area.
Americans waste 40% of food produced in the United States. Especially around the holidays, it can be so hard to make sure nothing goes to waste. Get creative and cook things you know can be frozen or incorporated into other recipes.
Break out the extra china you’ve been holding onto instead of buying single use plates and cutlery! Who said you can’t bond over washing dishes with your family?
Remember to bring reusable containers to family gatherings to avoid food waste. Don’t think you’ll eat it? Check with your local food banks and homeless shelters for their policy on food donations.
New Year, New Me?
When making New Year’s resolutions, make sure to include a habit to decrease your waste or improve your carbon footprint! Find a friend to hold you accountable and join you in the challenge.
What are your go-to holiday hacks?Let us know in the comments below more ways to reduce waste for the holidays!