People throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving & New Year’s than any other time of the year. In an attempt to go against the norm and throw away less this holiday season, I put together a few tips for living your best environmentally friendly holiday season ever!
- Ask your guests to bring containers for leftovers (or bring take your own with you). We all know they are going to happen because it’s almost impossible to eat all of that food so bring your own containers to take home your leftovers in. This way you are saving potential plastic bags, plates, and wrap - which brings me to my next tip.
- Invest in some bee’s wrap. Bee’s Wrap is an alternative to plastic wrap for food storage and it is reusable! This way if you do have a plate or bowl you want to cover up, you can use your Bee’s Wrap to seal the food and keep it fresh.
- Ditch the disposables. Instead of using disposable plates, silverware & cups, use the real thing. Yes, it is a little more effort, but to quote whoever came up with this common saying - there is no Planet B.
- Recycle your gift wrap. And by recycle I mean reuse (or recycle). Using bags and boxes are ideal because you can use these for years and hopefully the person you give gifts will too. Now I know wrapping paper is pretty because I have a soft spot for it too and you probably don’t want to reuse it but you can recycle it. There is a trick to purchasing wrapping paper if you want to recycle it - it cannot have foil, velvet material or sparkles (and seriously the sparkles get everywhere that's just a mess waiting to happen). As you’re unwrapping gifts if you remove the tape then you can recycle the paper.
- Gift wrap using newspaper or post-recycled, compostable or biodegradable wrapping paper. If you are looking for suggestions, Wrappily has great options!
- Bring reusable bags. Just like the leftovers, you will probably need to take things to a party & leave with stuff so use those reusable bags that sit in your car or in the cupboard somewhere instead of another plastic bag.
- Use cloth napkins. Instead of using disposable napkins, use your cloth napkins. It will make your holiday feel even more special!
- When sending Christmas cards, use the internet or create a postcard with your picture and save on the envelope! Better yet - if you print, print on recycled paper.
- Decorate with things around you. Go outside and find pinecones, branches and more that you can use as part of your decorations instead of buying plastic artificial arrangements.
- Find zero-waste gifts. By making something out of things you already have or giving a gift like a piece of jewelry you don’t wear but would be a great fit for your bestie. These gifts always mean more and won’t cost a lot! This year I am giving my mom a quilt I made out of my grandpa’s shirts and my dad a recreated painting that used to hang in our Florida home before Irma took it away. The only things I had to buy was a piece of reclaimed wood for the painting and backing for the quilt.
All in all, it is difficult to live waste free, but we can do our part to try out best! Wishing you all happy holidays and a merry Christmas!