How To Reduce Holiday Waste

by Megan Kioulafofski
Reduce holiday waste

Since the holidays are right around the corner, think of ways you can make more sustainable habits! This season is all about gifts, decorations, food, and more, however, a lot of waste is created from these festivities once they’re over.

Did you know that American household waste goes up 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Years’? Unfortunately, all of this waste contributes to 1 million extra tons a week to the landfill! 

As you’re celebrating this year, take the time to be more mindful of the food you consume, where you purchase your gifts and the materials you use. By doing this, not only will you keep the holiday cheer, but you can give back to the earth at the same time! Become more eco-friendly this holiday season with these sustainable tips from TurboTenant

1. Recycle Your Christmas Tree

recycle christmas tree

Although Christmas trees are a staple this time of year, their environmental impact is larger than you think. For starters, 30 million Christmas trees are sold each year in the United States. Each tree also has a carbon footprint of 7.7 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is the same as driving your car for 10 miles! 

To become more sustainable with your Christmas tree, consider selecting locally grown trees, donate before you toss your artificial tree, or contact your local recycling center to ask about recycling it so it doesn’t end up at a landfill. 

2. Use Eco-Friendly Decor

ecofriendly DIY gift decor

Be more mindful when it comes to decorating this season! Be sure to choose eco-friendly materials when decorating or reuse some from past holidays. You can even be creative and craft some DIY decorations!

For DIY decor, you can use leaves and branches from your yard to make a wreath, paint pinecones to create a centerpiece, or make festive garlands or ornaments from dried fruit and berries! 

3. Use Alternatives for Wrapping Paper

sustainable wrapping options during holidays

A lot of paper gets used and then thrown away shortly after the holidays. This season, you can be more sustainable by using wrapping alternatives with items from around your house.

For example, use cloth materials or old t-shirts to wrap gifts (known as furoshiki wrapping), newspaper for a unique gift wrap look, shredded newspaper or other recycled paper materials can be used as a gift box filler, or you can even use clean to-go boxes as a unique gift holder! 

4. Be Less Wasteful With Food

being mindful of food consumption and waste during holidays

Although we tend to gather with our friends and family and consume a lot of food together, there are ways to be more mindful when it comes to our food purchases and waste.

Make sure to shop locally, reuse leftovers in new recipes, or give leftovers or unused canned goods to your local charity. Also, composting can be a great way of discarding waste from your Christmas dinner! 

5. Limit Paper Usage 

reducing paper waste during the holidays

Even though holiday cards are a staple, they tend to create more paper waste, especially during this time of year. Instead, consider sending an e-card! In the US, 2.64 billion cards are sold each year, so if you send an e-card instead, it can save a lot of paper from going to waste. 

6. Rethink Your Gift

choose experience gifts

Instead of using materials as part of your Christmas gift this year, consider being more sustainable and gift “experiences” instead. This can be something thoughtful such as having dinner with a loved one, donating to someone’s favorite charity, or going on a camping trip. 

During the holidays, being more eco-friendly is more important than ever. From DIY sustainable decor to being more mindful when it comes to food consumption, these tips will help you do better for the planet while still remaining festive!

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