The holidays are here again, full of hustle and bustle…and the most waste of the year.
Did you know that “Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time dragon pharma anavar of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week!”? (source)
Simple changes and different now choices for old holiday habits can make a big difference in having a more sustainable, eco-friendly holiday.
Here are five holiday hacks to help you have a wonderful season without all the waste:
1. That’s a Wrap!
One of the biggest culprits of holiday waste, put an end to single-use wrapping by using these earthly-friendly and/or reusable alternatives:
- Paper: use newspaper, comics, maps, or magazines you already have. Bonus: you reduce waste in your own home as you wrap.
- Fabric: give a gift within a gift by using reusable shopping bags, pillowcases, scarves, or any fabric you love.
- Containers: consider alternative containers such as mason jars or beeswax wraps to give a multi-use gift.
2. Bow Out of the Landfill
Every year enough ribbon is used on wrapping that, if put all together, would put a ribbon around the Earth with enough left over for a bow. Skip the traditional peel-n-stick bows and curling ribbon, and use one of these eco-friendly ways to decorate your packages:
- Natural elements: take a walk and find local plants you can take small clippings from to use instead of a ribbon bow. Bonus: they’re compostable.
- Twine: use natural fiber twine instead of curling or wire ribbon that will be more reusable or breakdown faster if it ends up in the landfill.
- Skip it: decorate your package with drawings, stamps, or a simple paper tag and skip the ribbon all together.
3. Clean Your Plate
As with the rest of the year, food waste makes up the largest portion of human-generated garbage. While feasting with friends and family, consider these ways to reduce the excess food waste from your festivities:
- Table the sides: no other season or holidays have so many side dishes, many often only half eaten. Consider cutting one or two from the menu to ensure all on offer gets better eaten and finished.
- Reinvent leftovers: look for new ways to reuse what’s left in a dish the next day or beyond so everything can be used as best as possible.
- Compost all you can: year round, putting all food waste into compost instead of garbage is one of the most important ways to reduce what goes into the landfill, which takes longer to break down.
4. Something Borrowed
Busy buying more napkins and table settings to have enough for your party? Or new duds for the company party? What if you didn’t have to?
- Rent your settings: there are many table setting rental companies (like Table & Teaspoon) that will deliver and pick up full settings. It’s like Stitch Fix for your table. A quick Internet search will find you several options that can save you and the Earth at the same time.
- Runaway with the runway: instead of getting a new sweater or dress that stays in your closet 11 months out of the year, rent one from one of several holiday fashion rental companies that deliver.
5. Rethink the Gift
One of the most impactful ways to reduce waste is through thoughtful gift giving. The life of the gift after you give it is an important thing to take into account when choosing items for those you love.
- Experience matters: give gifts of experience that are enjoyed together, they rarely require more than an envelope for giving.
- Long-lasting: gifts that will be used, and last, for a long time reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill from single-use or poor quality items. Choose durable and sustainable items.
- Sustainable: choose gifts that help your friends and family live more sustainably after the holidays – beeswax wraps, metal straws, and other choices that will mean less waste for them all year long.
The holidays are a joyful time of togetherness and looking ahead to the new year ahead. This year, use some of all of these holiday hacks to make it a season of caring for the planet as you show care for those around you.