Preparing a Less Wasteful Holiday Season
The sales have begun, and the stores are glimmering with sparkly new items for you to snatch up. Before you do, consider an alternative way to celebrating and gift giving. With a little help with this list to plan ahead, you might even see this alternative as a better way for all holidays to come!
The most important thing to consider in a zero-waste holiday is planning. With this list, you will be ready for anything before and after any holiday event.
- No gift-wrapping paper and no tape – Sure, you can give a gift without wrapping it at all, but it’s a lot more fun for little ones to get to open a gift, right? And unwrapping a gift makes it feel that much more of a surprise. So, what can you use instead? Consider a Christmas dishtowel, a festive bath towel, or recycling the comic section of the local newspaper. To hold it in place, reuse a vegetable elastic or gift a tween a scrunchie at the same time.
- Purchase with little to no packaging – Take a hard look at items you do intend to purchase. A lot of toys and gadgets are wrapped in so much wasteful plastic. Find alternative brands that are trying harder at eliminating that.
- Buy local – local businesses rely on their community and you know what? Their amazing artisanal pieces are always beautiful and unique. Plus, there is less shipping and therefore a much less carbon footprint.
- Useful gifts – we tend to think less of these kinds of gifts as a society, but it’s time to change the narrative on this. Useful gifts can be very thoughtful. If you know your friend loves coffee and needs a new coffee machine, gift them a new coffee machine is perfect!
- Consumable – Food items that friends and family love mean little to no waste. If you have a recipe that people like, make that and gift it in a nice tray. Two gifts in one!
- Experience – concert tickets, massage certificates, dinner dates, trips to a new place, activities the kids have been wanting to do, all of these gifts are well received and create memories instead of clutter in the home.
- Zero Waste holiday dinner setting – invest in special cloth napkins, a tablecloth, and reusable dish wear and utensils. It may be more work to clean up after, but you won’t be throwing away things only to end in a landfill. And don’t forget to enjoy those leftovers and compost anything else.
- Re-gifting is ok – If you get something from a colleague at work that you either already have or is not your style, consider gifting it to someone else that will better enjoy it or donate it. It’s ok to do this – the act of receiving the gift was thoughtful but don’t feel held down by the item.
- Donate excess to keep our home less cluttered – Chances are your children will receive way more than they (or your home) can handle. The same applies here. Family and friends love spoiling little ones, but if your intention is to have a less filled home, it’s ok to donate to others.
- Re-wear your holiday outfits – You may be seeing the same friends and family each year around this time, and you may be seeing them all more than once during the holidays. But they want to see you, not a new outfit. You for sure have some nice outfits for the holidays and you should enjoy them again. Change up your outfit with accessories or a new do.
Do you think these ideas are manageable? Will you be trying some of them out this holiday? Even changing one or two ways of celebrating will do wonders for your spirits, your wallet and the environment.