Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips
Did you know that in the US during the holiday season we produce 25% more waste? That adds up to about 25 million tons of extra waste in the span of just one short month. According to Stanford University "If every American family wrapped just three presents in a reusable material, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields." 45,000 football fields like OMG are you kidding me that is so much paper I am in complete shock. While wrapping is not the only extra waste we produce through the holidays, it makes up the majority. Let's talk about ways to reduce the holiday waste all around. Beginning with the biggest waste producers I have created three categories to get you started wrapping in green style.
- Bento Bags
- Shopping Bags
- Recycled Wrapping Paper
- Recycle Old Newspapers
- Recycle Magazine Pages
- Recycle Packaging Stuffing
- Box with a twine Bow
- Unused Clothes
- Pillow Cases
Holiday Parties and Celebrations
I totally understand the convenience of using disposable plates, silverware, cups and bake ware because let's be totally honest nobody likes to do all those dishes. Finding a happy medium is a great place to start. I have created ways to swap out items to produce less waste.
- Replace Plastic with Paper Straws
- Plates, Cups & Silverware
- Avoid using any Styrofoam of any kind. Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and makes up 30% of the waste in landfills.
- Avoid using Plastic of any kind. We have all seen the floating garbage island no need to say more.
- Paper is the best alternative to using disposable plus they sell recycled paper products so it's a win win.
- Going completely disposable free would be great. Use washable plates, cups, and silverware
- Replace paper napkins with washable napkins
- Use napkins made from recycled paper
- Paper towels
- Replace paper towels with washable cloths
- Use paper towels made from recycled paper
We produce food waste from trowing away food and the packaging and containers that the food comes in. Tips to avoid excessive food waste are:
- Replace plastic produce bags with bento bags
- Try to avoid buying pre-made platters as the come in plastic.
- Cardboard box's break down and either recycle or re-purpose.
- Create a list of food and stick to it helping you avoid over buying or impulse purchasing.
- Create recipes with leftovers
- Try to avoid over baking. I know that is a tough one right, so turn your extra baked items into gifts!
According to Stanford University over 2.65 billion Christmas cards are purchased in the US each holiday season. That is enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. That is a lot of cards and not to mention all the photo holiday cards that are made. I would never tell you to stop sending Holiday cards as they bring joy to so many so here a just a few tips to help produce less cards.
- Swap a few cards for ECards
- Replace a few cards with a handcrafted card made from recycled materials
- Have your cards printed on recycled paper
- Send one less card this year
Even if you start with just one swap out you are on your way to reducing the waste. How are you going to have an eco-friendly holiday this year?