People generate more waste during the holiday season than any other time of the year. However, you can still enjoy the holiday season while reducing your damaging impact on the planet.
1. Holiday Waste
Statistics that portray the waste created during the holiday season are striking. A study from Stanford University found that Americans throw away 25 percent more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, or more precisely, 25 million tons of garbage. To give you a better idea, if recycled paper was used as wrapping paper, we would save 45,000 football fields of paper. In the UK, six million Christmas trees go to waste each year. One two-meter high Christmas tree is equal to 16 kilograms of carbon dioxide, according to The Carbon Trust.
Going further, approximately 4.2 million meals are wasted. Out of it, if 17.2 million brussel sprouts were converted into energy, they could power one home for three years. Evidently, urban areas make the most waste.
2. Ways To Cut Your Holiday Waste
There are many easy ways you can reduce holiday waste.
Reduce paper and plastic waste
Replace plastic bags with reusable ones. Replace wrapping paper with recycled paper, boxes and bags. You can use gift bags that you can use all year long. Reuse ribbons as according to that Stanford University study, if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, we could tie a bow around the entire planet with the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved. Replace plastic cups with washable ones. Get coupons and catalogues online as opposed to paper formats.
Reduce electronics waste
LED holiday lights are far more durable, use far less energy and therefore also prevent your United Illuminating utility bill from spiking. They can save you around $50 on your holiday season energy bills. When they do run out, don’t forget to recycle them.
Buy only the food you will truly cook and eat. Getting carried away with holiday editions of the yummiest foods is too easy and we all end up buying much more than we need. By making less food, you can increase the variety of what you eat. Also, don’t forget to make good use of your leftovers instead of forget them. You can freeze them, so they don’t go to waste. You will find a ton of creative recipes online that will help you make delicious dishes with them.
3. Sustainable Ways To Celebrate The Holiday
There are countless ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas and make plenty of sustainable memories with a lower environmental impact.
Give sustainable gifts
One of the best ways to reduce your holiday footprint is to choose local gifts from small businesses or simply get eco-friendly presents. You can find something for everyone on the eco-friendly gift list.
Make sustainable decorations
When it comes to decorations, you get to be as creative as you like. This can be a lovely activity to do together with your kids or your friends over Zoom or Facetime. Once you discover the DIY world, there is no going back. Make your own Christmas wreath with dried oranges and cinnamon as opposed to buying a plastic one. Who said your Christmas tree has to be pine? You can have a beautifully stylish Christmas tree from sustainable materials such as oak that designers get to play with. All you have to do for your home to smell like Christmas is to make cinnamon filled sachets.
Give the gift of experience
Instead of buying a product, create an experience as a gift. Although getting tickets to the theatre or a massage coupon isn’t ideal in times of a pandemic, you can get a virtual dancing or yoga class.
It’s time to reinvent holidays in a sustainable manner. Sustainable holiday season can be just as magical while significantly reducing the damage our lifestyles do to the planet. The concept revolves around giving experiences as opposed to a lot of stuff. There’s no gift like the gift of experience which will allow you to keep enjoying all your favorite traditions and maybe even more than you did before.