Updated: Dec 10, 2022
According to EPA (Environmental Protecting Agency) "The amount of household garbage in the United States can increase by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, from 4 million tons to 5 million tons." This includes food waste from all the Holiday celebrations and Holiday decorations.
So, when you are busy running between the fun Holiday events, how can you commit in making eco-friendly decisions?
Here are our tips and ideas for an eco-friendly Holiday season, don't hesitate to add more in the comments!
When it's time to gather...
🥗 Buy Less Food
Look back to last year's Holiday celebrations to see which menu items didn't "sell" and which ones were a big hit. This year, instead offering all the Holiday foods, only choose the ones that you didn't have to throw away after the holidays. I know it's hard, but trust me on this - less is more! If you truly consume everything you buy, no problem, but if you are throwing away food after Christmas maybe this year is a good time to simplify your Holiday menu?
To be honest, in my family's Holiday table we always have too much food (I'm usually the person who wants to have the biggest menu, because food is life, so for me this is a big challenge!) and usually we are eating the leftovers still in New Years.
🤶🏼 Use compostable disposables at your dinner table!
If you need to use disposables this year especially in those office Holiday parties, try out eco-friendly options like compostable Palm Leaf Plates, Wooden Cutlery, and Edible straws. We have our Holiday Package Special, that includes plates, cups, cutlery, and straws.
🥧 Prefer organic and local ingredients in your menus
By supporting local businesses you are not only supporting your community, but also offering healthier food to your family and lowering your carbon footprint.
Try out farmer's markets or your city's holiday markets. Check local butcher for meat and dairy products. Support your colleague's, friend's or neighbor's small business.
Now, we know this can become quite expensive especially if you have a big family to feed but remember, you don't have to change everything, just changing your dessert is a step to better!
If you don't have time to run after the best local cranberry sauce, when you go grocery shopping, try to pick the locally produced and organic products in to your shopping cart.
🌽 Add some vegan/vegetarian treats to the holiday menu
It's a no-brainer vegetarian food (vegetables, fruits, grains and beans) is less damaging on our environment than meat and dairy. We humans already consume way too much meat and dairy products, so switching some of the Holiday menu items into vegetarian will go a long way if your goal is to be sustainable this Holiday season!
There are plenty of vegetarian/vegan-friendly recipes online.
♻️ Plan waste management before the Holiday party!
Before the party, we recommend making a clear plan for your waste. If you are planning on composting and recycling, create a list of the items that can be recycled and composted. Place the lists next to the trash bins so people can see what goes where. You don't have to list all the items in the world, just the ones at your party. This way the list is not too overwhelming for your guests, or you!
☃️ Swap your Christmas decorations
Instead of buying all-new, maybe check with your neighbor or family member if they have something to swap with you. You can even throw a party out of it - Holiday Decor Swap Party!
You might be surprised how many people want to get rid of their old Holiday decor - for free!!
👋 Make something with your hands
Have a little craft shop by yourself, with your friends or kids, and make your own Christmas decorations. There is plenty of tutorials online that will help you. Instead of buying the ingredients go for a walk in the forest near you, pick up some leaves, sticks, pinecones to create garlands, wreaths and centerpieces.
Many have a small storage for the Holidays which is a good thing, but in case you like every year buying a new decor just to switch it up perhaps you should look into Holiday decorations that can be transformed easily into different themes. Challenge yourself to use what you already have and see how many styles you can create!
🎊 Buy second-hand
When you need new Holiday decorations, skip Target and check out your local thrift shop, or even better, check out Facebook Marketplace, they have amazing deals for reused Holiday decorations!
♻️ Don't buy plastic
If you are going to buy decor that is not going to be reused, don't buy plastic. If you are planning on reusing the decor, plastic is actually a very good material! For single use items, we recommend paper and other eco-friendly options. If you are looking for sustainable Holiday Decorations, take a look at D'light Etsy store for compostable and reusable options.
When it comes to gifts...
⛄️ Think before you buy.
Maybe you already have something in your house that you can repurpose as a gift? Or maybe you have old gifts in your house that someone gave you last year? No, it's not wrong to re-gift them! Rather that than not use them at all and some point throw away. Another person's trash can be someone else's treasure!
🎁 Instead of gifting a product or an item, gift an experience.
The world is already drowning in trash so why not instead of buying more products that will end up in the trash pile, gift your loved one with an experience. A gift card to a favorite restaurant, sky-diving, craft workshop, spa experience... there are so many possibilities!
🎄Support small businesses
Don't buy your gifts this year with the big companies (Target, Amazon, Shein, H&M and so on..), they are doing very well without your money and besides that they usually support cheap labor and use material that is harmful to our environment. Instead, support a local small store/business near you. When you buy from a small business owner, you support a family, a single mom, a dad, or a young woman or a man whose living depends on your purchase.
👋 Make something with your hands
Instead of buying the gifts and decorations, make something yourself! This can be food, crafts, clothing, even a poem or a song! What is your skill? Use it 😉! This is also a very personal gift and whoever receives it knows you have put thought and heart into it.
♥️ Wrap your gifts into reused or reusable
Instead of using new wrapping on the gifts use reusable fabric gift wraps or use old news papers / craft paper. Save the planet from unnecessary trash and your money! If you are not interested in DIY projects, check out our Reusable Gift Wrap Sets
I hope this blog inspires you to choose more sustainable ways to celebrate the Holidays this year. And remember, small changes are the best changes, don't overwhelm yourself and don't let guilt take you over, nobody is perfect. This time of the year is meant for us to slow down, spend time with family and friends and create beautiful memories.