Top 5 Ways To Reduce Plastic This Holiday Season
The holiday season is fast approaching and we couldn't be more excited. And we agree that this season— with all its festivity and spirit, is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. However, there’s one downside to it. Waste. And lots of it.
Because, as merry as the holidays are, it is also the time where waste is most generated. Do you know that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans throw away 25% more trash than any other time of the year? Yes, and that includes paper, food, and plastic waste.
So we thought, we know that it has to stop. We have to do something about it. We can, and YOU can by following these tips for making the holidays more sustainable. Let’s start with this: use less plastic.
Here are some ways to reduce plastic to be more eco- friendly this holiday season.
Top 5 Ways to Reduce Plastic this Holiday Season
It would be great if you could commit to a plastic- free holiday perfection, however, every effort, even small, is worthwhile.
1. Be more practical with gifts.
When it comes to buying presents, I suggest going and visiting brick and mortar stores rather than shopping online. That way, you can avoid a whole lot of plastic from the packaging. But if it can’t be helped, there are online shops that have plastic- free packaging.
When it comes to selection of presents, opt for gift items that people are likely to use on a daily basis (depending on who you are giving them to). Even better if you could give eco- friendly items that support the planet and all that lives in it like:
- Reusable water bottles/ containers
- Bar soaps/ shampoo and conditioner bars.
- Eco- friendly natural deodorants
- Consider handmade/ DIY gifts.
- You can also look for secondhand gift items, they’re okay too!
When it comes to wrapping your presents up, there are more environmentally friendly ways to wrap your gifts.
2. Use reusable and eco- friendly decorations.
First of all, avoid single use decorations and ornaments.
You don’t need to always buy new decorations every year. Instead, you can reuse your old ones. Or even better, if you’re feeling extra creative, and productive, you can recycle things around your house and make your own plastic- free or eco- friendly Christmas decorations. It’s best if you could make them as durable as you can, so you can reuse them for the next years to come.
Try decorating your Christmas tree with some homemade garlands made from dried fruits, wooden, or paper balls. I also suggest ditching the “fake snow” which is usually made from polystyrene foam. That stuff is non- biodegradable which means it can last forever. So really, skip that one.
Here are more ideas:
- Secondhand Christmas decorations
- Some natural/ organic materials like pine cones, rocks, driftwood, leaves, etc.
- Real Christmas tree
- Handmade hanging ornaments
- Confetti made from petals, or leaves
- Plastic- free Candles
- Reusable fabric table decor
3. Shop consciously.
When you’re shopping for meat, vegetables, baking goods or any food/ ingredients that are going to be on your Holiday feast, consider purchasing them in bulk and choose those with very minimal packaging.
Visit your local market/ store that promotes and sells sustainable products.
Also, don’t forget to bring your own eco bag!
4. Celebrate without single use plastics.
Parties. And if there’s a holiday party, it’s likely that piles and piles of used disposable items are piled the day after.
It may be cheaper and more convenient to use plastic and disposable cups, cups, cutlery, straws, and such, but as we know, the destructive effects of these plastic products to the environment is alarming, and reducing consumption is a must.
So it's best to just ditch them and replace them with alternatives.
To be completely honest, single- use utensils, dishes and cutlery just don’t feel homey, right? The real ones made from ceramic or glass are the best.
5. Do less.
While the holiday season is about being festive— with all the lights, decorations, parties, and its spirit, and cheers, and love spreading around the world, it doesn’t always have to be the case.
It’s not always about being extravagant. Sometimes, it can be just a simple celebration with family, your special someone, your friends. A chance to spend time together, cook, exchange laughs and stories, and create more memories.
Just a few presents, fewer holiday decorations, even with this simplicity, it could still feel as festive, as hearty, as merry.
And that’s a wrap! By following these tips on how to be sustainable on holidays, we can all have a merry and happy holiday, and a healthy EARTH.