How To Be Sustainable During The Holidays

 

The holidays are a merry, but wasteful time of year! Wasted food, single-use wrapping paper and gifts that people may never use. The holiday spirit needs to become more sustainable! 

Check out these few tips on how to be sustainable during the holidays:

 

🎁 Sustainable and Useful Gifts 🎁

Buy people gifts that they actually need! Or, gifts that they actually want. This season, try not to give presents just for the sake of giving.

Really challenge yourself to buy your loved ones gifts that are useful and better for the environment. Feel better about the quality of your gift as well as your impact on the planet.

Don’t know what to buy to achieve sustainable gift giving? Have a look at this eco-friendly gift guide (link to blog post)

 

🌟 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap 🌟

Buying a sustainable gift is only the first step. It is still fun to incorporate that element of surprise in gift giving during the holidays – but wrapping paper is the biggest waste culprit of the holiday season! 

It’s a single-use item that is used for a short amount of time. It’s ripped apart, and then ends up in our landfills. Yes, it’s “paper”. However, it’s often not recyclable because of the ink and metallic detail on it. 

So, skip the wrapping paper! Switch to a friendly alternative…

 

✨ Reusable Bags – Whether its a canvas, cloth or paper option, choose bags that can be repurposed again and again. I know your grandma probably keeps and repurposes every plastic bag that she’s ever received, but these options are better for the environment!

✨ Fabric –  Search for fabric gift wrapping options! Or, DIY with a thin blanket or cloth. Tie it on the sides or secure it with string. Fabric is a great option because there are SO many designs to choose from. You can find something to match any holiday vibe that you’re going for!

✨ Recycled Paper – It may seem strange at first, but newspapers make for great wrapping paper! A little brown paper package, tied up with string. Live out your Julie Andrews moment and create a cool holiday aesthetic.

✨ String Instead Of Ribbon And Bows – Standard ribbon and bows are made of plastic and will stay in a landfill forever. Try using a cute string that can be reused for many purposes! 

✨ Reusable Gift Boxes – Reusable boxes are cute, reusable and are pretty enough to not need wrapping!

 

🎄 Recycled Holiday Cards 🎄

E-cards and digital cards are the best alternatives to traditional paper cards. However, there are options for those who like a physical card. Look for post-consumer recycled options!

Tree-Free Greetings is an eco-friendly and sustainable company. They use 100% post-consumer recycled paper, 100% solar powered print and production and vegetable based inks! They have all of your holiday card options for less waste.

Pair your sustainably wrapped useful gift with an eco-friendly holiday card! Sign it with love.

 

🍪 Try A Plant-Based Meal 🍪

Studies have shown that plant-based foods are much better for the environment than food that includes meat. Animal agriculture is a HUGE pollutant. Also, the production of meat products takes a lot of water usage!

Serve a plant-based meal at your holiday dinner! There are so many amazing food options that you can try! Check out BestOfVegan.com for ideas!

While you cook your vegan feast, try to do so with local and organic foods. 

 

❄️ Decorate Sustainably ❄️

Buy a real tree! Most importantly, recycle it when you are done, WAY too many trees end up in landfills – 10 MILLION! Drop it off at a site that will repurpose it into wood chips or mulch. 

Decorate it with LED lights. LED lights use 90% less energy than your old holiday string lights. They release little heat and can last 200,000 hours. This is better for the environment and your energy bill! 

Search for plastic-free decor! While shopping for decor, consider second-hand stores that are full of cute decor during the holidays. When buying new, prioritize products that are not packaged in plastic. 

Timeless decor. Trends are cute for a season but don’t last, causing those trendy pieces to be “tossed” when trends change. Invest in timeless decor that can be used year after year and is always beautiful! 

Keep on living that eco-friendly lifestyle! Don’t give in to the holiday hustle and wasteful bustle. Eliminate the single-use plastics, don’t waste food and enjoy yourself. 

Wrap that sustainable gift in an eco-friendly wrapping alternative. Cook that vegan feast of locally grown organic foods. Gather around your low-energy, well-decorated real tree. 

Have a happy and sustainable holiday season and stay safe! 

 

☃️ Post Holiday ☃️

After the holidays are over, here are a few things that you can do to wrap it up (*no pun intended):

  • Some wrapping paper can be recycled. Any paper with metallic elements goes in the trash. Here’s a quick test to see if paper can be recycled: crinkle it up into a ball. If it stays crinkled, it can probably be recycled. If it unfolds on its own, it goes in the trash. 
  • Cardboard boxes can be broken down and recycled. Remove any plastic labels or tape first!
  • Bubble wrap can be put in your plastic bag of bags and recycled in the receptacle at the grocery store.
  • Gift bags – save them and reuse them!

 


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