The holidays are a time for celebration, but they are often accompanied by lots of excess. From disregarded scraps of wrapping paper to food waste, December typically ends up being quite a wasteful month. We compiled some of our favorite tips to cut down on holiday waste without sacrificing any of the festive joy.
Image from melissaselmin.com
1. Gift Wrapping
Our favorite trick is to repurpose lightly-used gift wrapping. If this is not an option, try to use recyclable paper and packaging. In a pinch? An old newspaper can make for the perfect sustainable gift wrap.
2. What to Gift
Gifting does not need to be wasteful. We love making edible treats to give to our loved ones, such as this Garlic Confit - a zero waste gift that keeps on giving. If you do choose to purchase gifts, try to shop from small businesses that champion sustainability in their products and packaging.
This year, try to create DIY holiday decorations made from natural materials such as pine or dried fruit. This is a much more environmentally-friendly way to spread the holiday spirit through your home, rather than purchasing plastic decorations.
You might be cooking for a smaller crowd than usual this year. Think carefully about what ingredients you will need to buy to serve the proper amount of people. If you have leftover produce scraps, freeze them and save for later to make a warming vegetable broth. If you have leftovers from your holiday meal, consider dropping them off for a loved one or neighbor, or freezing them for a fun future meal.
If you are planning a holiday feast, make sure to serve with reusable silverware, plates, and napkins, and sip your festive cocktails in reusable glasses. If you are picking up to-go treats to support a local restaurant or bakery, consider bringing your own container to take them home, instead of a disposable box. To jazz up your tablescape, reuse your favorite Brightland bottle as a flower vase or candle holder for a celebratory centerpiece.
Photo by Jill Burrow