How to Reduce Your Waste During the Holiday Season
Embrace eco-friendly celebration with these 10 tips
From groceries to decorative items and presents, people buy many things during the holidays. However, every item you purchase can contribute to waste, create extra cleaning time, and increase environmental concerns. To that accord, you can celebrate special occasions in an eco-friendly manner by reducing the things you throw away. Here are 10 ways telling you how to reduce your holiday waste.
Carry Reusable Bags
You’ll shop several times during the holidays to get your loved ones gifts and buy groceries for the lavish holiday meal. Remember to bring reusable bags to hold all the items you buy. Decline politely if the cashier asks to place your purchases in a plastic bag. This way, you can minimize the waste you bring home and save the environment from the harmful impacts of plastic pollution.
Repurpose Gift Wrap
Whether it’s reusable fabric, a tote bag, or a box, you can take the gift-giving practice a notch higher by making it eco- and budget-friendly. Your loved ones can repurpose tote bags into a beach, picnic, or gym bag, and fabric can be reused as gift wrap, home decor, or even a scarf. Aim for zero- or low-waste gifts, including the wrapping, so they don’t end up in landfills. You should also abstain from using plastic gift wraps to lessen waste.
Decorative items contribute to considerable waste during the holiday season, but using materials you already have at home can help solve this problem. By doing a bit of research, you can turn wine bottles into stunning candle holders or make your own wreaths using dried flowers and foliage. All you need is creativity.
Reduce Food Waste
Limiting the food you prepare is the best approach to preventing food waste. Get a precise guest count and cook just enough food for everyone. Plan what foods to serve, make a list of all the ingredients, and only buy what you need. If there are more leftovers the next day, encourage others to take some home or store them in your freezer. Moreover, there are tons of holiday leftover recipes to help you create delicious dishes.
Compost Kitchen Scraps
Preparing for holiday meals results in waste, including fruit and vegetable peels. Instead of dumping them out, create compost in your backyard to fertilize the soil in the garden. Dig a hole and bury all your kitchen scraps, including moldy leftovers you couldn’t eat and rotten fruits. This adds essential nutrients to the soil, making it ideal for planting.
Opt for Reusable Tableware
Skip disposable plastic cups, cutlery, and plates that pile up trash the following day. You may need an extra round or two in the dishwasher to clean glass or porcelain dinnerware, but they significantly lower waste. If you’re throwing a big family holiday party, disposable utensils and plates can add up quickly, resulting in toxic waste for the environment.
Recycle Delivery Boxes
Online shopping is also at a sky-high rate during the holidays. The packaging that comes with them can add up to trash. What can you do? Recycle delivery boxes into storage. Large boxes are especially handy for storing leftover holiday supplies, such as decorations and winter outfits, for the next year. Just dry be sure to keep them in a place, as water can damage items like fireworks or string lights.
Give Non-Material Gifts
Consumerism runs wild during the holidays. While you want to show people you love them through gifts, material goods are not the only option. Try giving them the gift of an experience, whether that be tickets to a concert or event, an invitation to dinner, or a slideshow of pictures or videos. Even a gift card to the grocery store can be a great alternative that will be more useful than a trendy material gift.
Recycle Holiday String Lights
Many people invest in quality string lights and reuse them for as long as they work. However, if the bulbs no longer work, contact the waste management facility in your area for the recycling process. Instead of dumping them in the garbage, many communities often organize recycling programs during holidays to lower waste. Some local stores also designate recycling stations for lights.
Recycle Your Tree
If you have a real Christmas tree, give it a second life after the holiday by unloading it at a recycling center or scheduling a pick-up for the hauler to take it. Avoid burning it in a wood stove or fireplace. Instead, find out about your area’s disposal process and recycling options. Take advantage of what’s available to reduce trash.
Are you thinking of purchasing new decorations? With light cleaning, last year’s wreaths, garlands, and stars could look brand new. By making waste reduction a holiday goal, you can rethink your spending decisions and get creative in transforming reusable items. Minimizing trash during holiday celebrations has advantages for your wallet and the environment.