For many people, this year has been disappointing to say the least! But despite everything negative that’s happened, the holiday season provides the perfect opportunity for us to spread joy and help others.
However, the upcoming few months can also bring out people’s greed and wastefulness. In order to help you have a more sustainable holiday season, I’ve put together some tips so that you can be less wasteful this year!
Buy Your Decorations Second-Hand
This may seem strange to some people, but the decor section at your goodwill and other local thrift shops might surprise you! Secondhand decorations will make your home look so unique, and its comforting knowing that you’re giving new life to an old item.
…Or Get Crafty With Things You Have At Home
If you aren’t the biggest fan of vintage pieces or secondhand items, another option is to make your decorations at home. Try out one of these upcycled decorations, and if you have kids this can also be the perfect way for them to get involved and give a personal touch to your decorations.
Shop Locally When Preparing Holiday Meals
Instead of going to big chain grocery stores, try shopping at farmer’s markets and local butchers for your holiday meals. Doing so not only supports local farmers, but reduces carbon emissions from buying food that’s shipped around the world.
Send Digital Christmas Cards
This may be difficult for people who are hesitant to deviate from tradition, but its a simple way to reduce your waste during the holidays. If you’re not a fan of digital cards, choose ones that can be recycled and/or are made from recycled materials.
When you have to find gifts for so many people, you can sometimes end up giving wasteful items. Gifts that can only be used once, or are only useful around The holidays aren’t very sustainable and can end up being a hassle for the person receiving them.
Next week I’ll be putting out my Sustainable Holiday Gift Guide, but if you’re interested in eco-friendly gift wrap, you can find my article on that here.
Skip The Disposable Dishware
When hosting large meals its easier to use disposable dishes for a quicker clean-up, however taking the little bit of extra time to use reusable dishes will significantly reduce your waste (and make your meal look nicer as well)!
Use Up All Of Those Leftovers!
Food waste is already a huge issue, and around the holidays it can become even worse. Consider asking your guests to bring tupperware them so that they can bring food home with them. Or try some of these recipes using leftovers:
Be More Mindful
This is going to sound cliche but seriously, remember what the holidays are really about. Its easy to get caught up in the gifts and decorations, and forget that this time is ultimately for giving and showing love to the people that are important to us.
Try to make all of your purchases with intention, rather than buying random gifts and thinking “I’m sure there’s someone I can give this to”. The same goes with buying food for big meals. If you plan ahead, you’re less likely to have food waste.
Try A Gift Exchange
Rather than buying a gift for each of your friends, try out one of these gift exchanges to cut down on waste. This will also save everyone money and take some stress out of present shopping! Some ideas to try are:
- Secret Santa
- Cookie Swap (Check out this article from Goingzerowaste)
- White Elephant
- Book Exchange
- Coffee Mug Swap
I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can be more sustainable this holiday season. As always if you have anymore ideas or thoughts please comment, I’d love to hear from you! Thank you so much for reading, have a lovely day!