Having a sustainable holiday is a challenge, but it’s achievable! We need to be mindful of the environment during the hustle of the holidays. To learn more, here are 15 tips to try in time for the season!
15 Easy Tips For A Sustainable Holiday
1. Minimize Food Waste
Delicious foods deserve to be enjoyed, not thrown to waste. Plan your food portions and make use of your freezer. Don’t just throw away leftovers, get creative with them instead! You might be surprised at the awesome breakfasts and snacks you can whip up from last night’s dinner!
2. Make A List
Holiday shopping can be stressful. It’s so easy to get agitated and just grab anything in your way. However, you should research and organize when it comes to prep for the holidays. It is essential to have a sustainable meal, know exactly where to buy organic food and how to source it beforehand.
3. Enjoy New Foods
Christmas is all about being grateful and sharing. It is also a holiday focused on enormous meals. Yes, there is comfort in traditional food. However, the holidays are a perfect opportunity to introduce your family to some unique dishes!
4. Shop Local
Use local products, naturally grown or organic food. Not only is it sustainable, but supporting local farmers who grass feed their animals, organically grow their fruit and vegetables is a great way spread a little love during the holiday season.
5. Reduce Gift Giving
Go for quality instead of quantity when giving gifts — this ensures you make responsible choices. While Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales are enticing, outrageous consumption of goods contributes to landfill waste. This year, commit to controlling your consumer consumption. DIY gifts like homemade beauty products, crafty frames with photos of your loved ones, or homemade ornaments can be fun to create and give.
6. Gift Something Consumable
When you choose to give holiday gifts, consider options that can be consumed with less process and waste, like locally produced wine, fair trade chocolate, or other sustainable food items.
Gift an “experience” this season. This way you only not minimize shopping and wrapping, but you’re guaranteed to win some brownie points. Some ideas are tickets to a concert or play, a ball game, a museum, a trip somewhere fun and exciting, or a simple homemade dinner. Anything that will guarantee something new, interesting or fun will make a gift unforgettable.
7. Consider Repurposing Or Re-Gifting
We all have something beautiful at home that we never use. Why not regift it to someone you know would use it? Giving unwanted items a new lease on life through regifting or repurposing is a perfect way to lessen waste.
8. Ditch The Store-Bought Wrapping Paper
While it’s pretty to look at, that dazzling and shiny store-bought wrapping paper doesn’t get recycled as much as it should. Most end up straight to the landfills and become a significant source of waste. This year, get the chance to get creative with your wrapping paper. Use comics, newspapers, old maps, or other recycled materials for a sustainable gift wrap!
9. Go For Natural Decorations
Cutting out plastic from our lives is incredibly challenging. Here are some ways to remove plastic from your decor:
- Create a wreath using fresh greens.
- Bring the outdoors in through decorating with organic materials (think fall leaves, pinecones, and evergreen branches.)
For your Christmas tree, go for a live one that’s grown locally. Fir trees are biodegradable, and they can be recycled for mulch and other purposes. Check for a post-holiday tree mulching program in your area and ensure your tree will still go to good use after the holiday.
10. Save Energy
Christmas lights use a lot of energy. Keep an eye out for energy-saving lights. LED lights are best for this. It uses 90% less energy and lasts 7x longer, making it more cost-effective. You can also set a timer on your lights or set up your lighting closer to the holiday.
11. Stuff Stockings With Treats
Stocking stuffers tend to be small, plastic knick-knacks that end up broken, lost or in the waste. Instead, stuff your stockings with healthy treats like dried nuts, fruits, or homemade holiday cookies.
12. Avoid Plastic Cutlery
Avoid using single-use plastic cutlery, plates, cups, and water bottles. The holiday is the perfect opportunity to make your party or dinner a little fancier. It may be more work to wash those dishes, but Mother Earth will thank you for the effort. You can limit water usage by turning off the faucet while scrubbing. If you have a dishwasher, you can fill it up and use eco-setting.
13. Go Out And Play
One of the best things we love about the holidays is the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. Unplug from the digital world and get some fresh air. Not only does it benefit you physically, but reduce your electricity consumption. The holiday season is often a peak time for utility bills, so go out and move around outdoors!
14. Create Compost
With all the additional waste you have during the holiday, making a compost system, or searching for compost service in your area, will help minimize how much waste goes directly to landfills. You can also use your compost later when you plant those holiday plants and flowers you might have received as gifts.
15. Give Back
Get into the holiday spirit by giving yourself freely, whether as a volunteer or sharing a bit of your good fortune. Consider sponsoring a less-fortunate family during the season. Donate extra items – shoes, blankets, and warm clothes to a homeless shelter.
Are you looking for more helpful tips on how to live sustainably? Become eco-friendly this holiday with the help of this video from My Green Closet:
These are only a few of the many ways on how to live sustainably amidst the chaos of the holiday season. So take responsibility today and make use of these helpful tips to achieve a sustainable holiday.
We want to hear your tips on how to have a sustainable holiday! Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.