During the holidays, households typically produce up to 25% more waste. Whether it’s from packaging related to purchases, wasted food, or single use and disposable items it all adds up. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep in mind, the best way to have a sustainable holiday is to simplify. When you simplify the holidays, you often reduce your costs, stress, and waste.
With so much focus on supply chain issues, shortages, and increased costs for items- what better time to rethink holiday gift giving? Consider starting early on your gift giving list to be more intentional and thoughtful. This gives you more time to make homemade gifts, as well as to avoid unnecessary last-minute purchases. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share our sustainable holiday series. It will have ideas to help reduce waste when it comes to holiday meals, decorations, shopping/gift giving, and gift wrapping. We compiled some ideas to help you support local businesses, reduce waste, and have a sustainable holiday.
When it comes to holiday meals there are lots of strategies that will help you reduce waste:
- Make a meal plan- Plan ahead for how many guests you will have and what dishes you will make. There are lots of great online resources to help you plan a successful holiday meal.
- Make the most of your leftovers- Check out this great resource with creative ideas for using up leftovers. Some of the recipes include: turkey pot pie, turkey soup with stuffing dumplings, turkey Waldorf salad, stuffing-stuffed mushrooms, and more!
- Use reusable items- By avoiding single-use and disposable items you not only reduce waste, but you can also save a lot of money. Ceramic dishes, glassware, and cloth napkins are an easy way to make your event feel elegant.
- Compost your scraps- Hopefully you have been able to use up all those leftovers, but inevitably your left with scraps that aren’t edible. During your meal prep and after the meal you may be left with potato/carrot peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells. If you are not already composting at home, consider checking out a curbside or drop off composting service. We’ve got a list of service providers here.