While the holidays are always full of tasty meals, family gatherings, and of course, thoughtfully picked gifts for loved ones- they also bring with them a lot of waste. The good news is, we can celebrate the holidays while still focusing on zero waste principles.
We get it; shopping online at big retailers like Amazon and Target can make gift-giving more accessible, but the manufacturing practices behind many of the products are not zero waste friendly. Instead of shopping BIG, why not try ethical, local, and sustainable gifts. Many environmentally friendly companies out there have great gifts that you can feel good about, like Black Earth Compost. You can gift loved ones a starter kit so they can have curbside pickup and get back compost for their gardens later. This is the perfect gift for the garden lovers on your holiday list! You can also consider giving the gift of experiences, like a trip, a class, or even a concert.
Decorating consciously is a great way to have a zero-waste holiday. Some great alternatives to wrapping paper are old newspapers, paper bags, towels, or reusing old gift wrap. Not all wrapping paper is recyclable, so always keep that in mind. You can string popcorn, use items from nature like pine cones and flowers, or let your kids DIY your decorations. This is a fun way to spend time together as a family and help out our planet too.
Making your own cards is a great way to show your loved ones you care. You can ensure the cards you make are recyclable and make it a fun event. Your family will enjoy the personal touch, and you can prevent further landfill waste. You can also skip the cards altogether and aim for a decorated email or ecard.
There are tons of opportunities to enjoy great food during the holidays, but sometimes we tend to overdo it, and a lot of food waste ends up in landfills. So this year, aim to cook smaller portions. Plan for your guest count, have options for them to take food home, or even send food to loved ones, neighbors, or friends in need. You can also use curbside services like Black Earth Compost to pick up food scraps from your door- which is convenient for you and great for our earth.
This year, enjoy a sustainable holiday season. When we put care and thought into our holidays, we can also inspire others to do the same.