With the holiday season comes excessive waste. Why not make this holiday a sustainable one? Did you know there’s an increase of 25% in garbage during the months of November and December? That is the equivalent to 25 million tons. Not to mention the 6 million rolls of tape that are bought and used to wrap gifts. Here, we listed for you sustainable alternatives and ways to make a difference this year.
1. Avoid Traditional Wrapping Paper
Majority of wrapping paper is non recyclable and contributes to a tremendous amount of waste. One way to tell if it’s recyclable is by scrunching it up into a ball. If it holds its shape, it can be recycled! When cleaning up, make sure to remove tape from the paper as it is not recyclable.
Other alternatives to wrapping paper are: newspaper, old fabrics, reusable tote bags, reuse packing supplies from orders, or DIYing kraft paper with vegetable scrap stamps. When reusing old fabrics, such as a scarf, try using the Furoshiki method as shown above.
2. Switch to LED Lights
Switch to using LED lights. They are more durable, long lasting and energy efficient compared to fluorescent lightning. Plus LEDs emit less greenhouse gasses. In addition, they’re a lot safer too as they are not hot to the touch when lit.
3. Plan Your Holiday Meals
Holiday dinners usually come with a lot of leftovers which can lead to some wastage. Sometimes it is as simple as buying a new spice, only to use a pinch of it. To avoid this, share with neighbours or borrow from a family member if you can. There’s a chance they may need it too! When it comes to leftovers, ask your guests to bring reusable containers with them or have containers ready on hand to give away. Still have extra? Storing them in the freezer is always a great alternative.
4. Choose Sustainable Gift Giving
Need ideas on gifts that are eco-friendly to give this year?
- E-Gift cards are great as they are digital (You can gift a Scoria gift card here😏)
- Give the gift of time! Whether it is helping out a family member or volunteering at a local organization. Best part is that it is thoughtful and waste free.
- What’s better than giving someone a new experience?This can be a lesson/class, dining, or a concert. The possibilities are endless. With COVID-19, events can be hard, planning for something in the future is a great, safe option. Not only is an experience memorable but it will give your loved one something to look forward to.
- Shop local or buying from sustainable, ethical brands
- Give a nice treat; bake some yummy goodies and give them to a loved one in a reusable container
5. Opt for a Real Tree vs. a Synthetic One
If you celebrate Christmas, you most likely display a Christmas tree during the month of December (if not longer, we won’t judge😉). Rather than buying a reusable artificial tree, filled with harmful chemicals or PVC, opt for a real one instead! A real tree not only smells amazing but is the eco friendlier option.
Once you’re ready to take down your tree you can turn it into mulch to use in your garden or use some for compost. However most cities offer tree collection, research to find where/when the closest one to you is along with what’s accepted.
Hope you enjoyed these alternative ways to celebrate the holidays! Let us know in the comments below what you do to reduce waste during the holidays.