Holiday waste-reduction roundup: 7 tips for low-waste festivities

Here’s a roundup of ways to reduce your holiday footprint! See the links for more details.

1. Utilize reusable plates, utensils, and napkins

Whether they’re posing as fine china or cheap dinnerware, there is no place for disposable plates, plastic utensils, and paper napkins this holiday season. Yes, using the real thing does mean extra time in the kitchen cleaning up. But, by choosing kitchenware, you can lead by example and choose a short-term inconvenience for long-term (and often indirect) gains. You can also use this opportunity to solidify a work ethic in your little ones by inviting them to help with the cleanup! 

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2. Give experiences rather than stuff

Instead of spending money on cheap novelties with little value, think about giving the gift of experience. Movie tickets, sports games, comedy specials, and concerts make great gifts that allow you and your loved ones to make memories that will last longer than that ugly sweater or flimsy trinket. 
Save or Splurge on Holiday Experience Gifts: Create Memories, Not Trash

3. Nix the wrapping paper

Skip the wrapping paper and opt for reusable bags. Repurpose some you already have or buy new ones that can be reused year after year. If nixing wrapping paper makes you say “Bah Humbug!” then think about using old cereal and shoe boxes to take the first step in going completely reusable. Reusable Holiday Wrapping

4. Just say no to the frosted Christmas tree

Many cities and counties offer Christmas tree recycling. However, if you opt for a flocked tree, most often these cannot be recycled because of the chemical content used to give the tree that frosted look. Go au natural or opt for an artificial tree that be reused year after year.

5. Bundle up instead of cranking up the heat

Bring out the blankets and throw on the sweaters to decrease your energy use this holiday season. Instead of blasting the heat, bundle up to save energy and money too!

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6. Let no food go uneaten

When planning your holiday feasts, try your best to not overbuy or overcook. Make sure you have containers on hand to offer leftovers to guests. If there is still excess food, donate the leftovers to a local food pantry or homeless shelter to ensure nothing is wasted and to help out those less fortunate in your community. 
Reduce Holiday Waste with Party Portion Planning

 7. Recycle

Make sure to have separate bins to capture all recyclable and compostable items. Signage will help reduce contamination. If you are using reusable plates, napkins, and cutlery, recycling all beverage containers, and composting leftover food scraps, you are well on your way here having a zero waste holiday season!

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— Angela Vincent
Posted on Dec 22, 2016

Summary: Here’s a roundup of ways to reduce your holiday footprint! See the links for more details.