It won’t be long before the holidays are here! Begin to consider ways to wish everyone a great holiday season, plan gatherings with those close to you, and figure out what presents to give out. This period of time may be an enjoyable season for people, but it could be an onerous load on the earth. Stanford University states that American people generate 25% more trash during the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than during any other timeframe. Why not this year present something for the wellbeing of a dear one as well as the planet by being well-considered when you buy (or make yourself) presents. Here are some of our sustainable favorites!
Presents that can be utilized multiple times are less likely to be thrown out. For this eco-friendly present, search for items that are an alternative to disposable plastics. The recipient of this item is able to foster lasting health through their daily activities – showing that seemingly insignificant choices can have an influential outcome!
Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic contamination is one of the major ecological issues that demand our attention, with plastic bottles being amongst the most serious offenders. It has been found that the majority of plastic water containers consumed in the United States end up as trash or this is left out in the open. It is not sufficient to just throw plastic bottles in the recycle bin. A 2015 research showed that just a fifth of worldwide plastic waste is recycled in contrast to the enormous 55% figure of its expulsion. It’s great that with just one reusable water bottle, you can keep 156 single-use plastic bottles each year out of the environment. That’s even better than recycling! Not to mention, they’re much cooler. Give your friend and the environment a break this holiday season by getting them a reusable water bottle.
Ensure that your mate or family member won’t run out of battery while taking pictures during the holidays by giving them a solar-powered battery recharger as a present! Chargers that run on solar energy provide electricity to batteries, cell phones, and other electronics by utilizing the power of the sun. All different types and sizes of chargers exist, including smaller ones for when you need to quickly power up your phone or tablet while out and about.
Think about giving rechargeable batteries instead of solar chargers! Disposable batteries tend to be manufactured with noxious metals that are not sustainable and are acquired in lower-quality job sites. When batteries are thrown out in the garbage, these metals may seep into the ground or contaminate reservoirs. Make a small attempt at resolving this issue by supplying batteries that can be recharged and reused! Rechargeable batteries can be obtained for several different types of devices and battery types. Utilizing renewed batteries can help limit the process of mining and a short amount of time of utilization, followed by discarding toxic substances.
On occasions when we make a mess or have wet hands from washing, towels are a must-have in every home. Giving reusable towels as presents is a fashionable, straightforward choice for an eco-friendly holiday season. After being used, paper towels are frequently disposed of in landfills or in water sources, which can lead to contamination. A Harvard-led research project has revealed that paper towels account for between 20 and 40 percent of the waste by volume created in dorms and office structures. Every time your supplies are depleted, you have to go to the shop to get another roll. By utilizing reusable towels, you can save yourself time, and money, and help the planet! Towels manufactured from natural materials such as cotton or bamboo can be washed and reused, eliminating the need to get rid of them after just a couple of times of being utilized. They offer a range of shades and designs to match every individual’s style.
Silicone Sandwich Bags
This holiday season (and every season), it is advisable to avoid using plastic sandwich bags that can only be used once. Think about substitutes that are friendly to the environment, for instance, silicone bags for sandwiches and boxes. This can be particularly useful if someone close to you has a son or daughter! A silicone sandwich container is ideal for all of one’s school lunch needs in the upcoming year.
People are fond of getting produce straight from the source. However, not everyone has a fondness for the throwaway plastic sacks you purchase from grocery stores. If you opt not to utilize them, your groceries can wander aimlessly in your basket or shopping cart. Reusable produce bags are a must-have for your friend or special someone when they go shopping! Reduce plastic pollution and make the environment in your area healthier by using a reusable bag instead of a disposable plastic one. Keep in mind that not all reusable bags are created equal. Search for items created with Earth-friendly materials like organic cotton, linen, or hemp to lessen the environmental repercussions.
For your fashionista friends, try solid shampoo! Solid shampoo can be likened to a bar of soap for your hair, making it an excellent present without the need for extra wrapping or boxing. You can frequently locate robust shampoos that are completely botanical and liberated from aggressive chemicals that can disturb your skin. Beauty products can be found in an array of fragrances, sizes, and hues and can be attained conveniently from any nearby cosmetics retail shop!
Zero Waste Gift Boxes
Obtain or craft yourself an inventive type of care package: a Zero Waste Present Box! Gift boxes containing no waste are packed with reusable, naturally degradable, and totally sustainable items like water containers or telescoping straws. There are many options available online for different budgets. You can alter it to suit a special person in your life!
Sustainable Cleaning Supplies
It appears as though all of our houses end up messier and fuller of stuff during the festive season, right? The multitude of activities, such as coming together with family, eating, and exchanging presents, can leave one feeling disorganized. This holiday season, show your loved ones how much you care by gifting them environmentally-friendly products that can help create a tidier home. Think about buying sustainable items such as eye-catching glass spray bottles for disinfecting surfaces or plant-derived soaps and conditioners.
S’Well® x New Chapter® Vitamin Case
This year, let’s avoid using plastic vitamin packaging or those disposable plastic bags! The lightweight, fashionable S’Well x New Chapter Vitamin Case makes it simple to remain in good health and lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. The material used to construct each vitamin holder is 18/8 stainless steel, and is not composed of any BPA or BPS. This 7-day wellness organizer can be reused and washed and holds up to 8 pills a day. The cover can additionally function as a tray! There are plenty of choices for everyone you want to give something to since this item comes in three fashionable shades.
Tips to Reduce Waste at Holiday Parties
1. Turn Your Heat Down Before Guests Arrive
Individuals typically emanate body warmth, and when they are restricted together in a house, it’s inevitably going to become warmer indoors. Lower the temperature setting of your thermostat a little bit, and the heat of your house will warm it up naturally by the time your visitors show up, so it will stay cozy for them during the whole stay.
2. Cook Meals with Zero Waste in Mind
When serving food to your visitors, attempt to arrange as much as possible to make the most of the ingredients you have. If you are going to be preparing either a turkey or a ham for the holidays, remember to save the bones and use them to make soup stock the following day. Any remaining vegetables can be retained and utilized to make any soup or other culinary creations. A great way to be environmentally friendly around the holidays is to steer clear of creating any food waste, which you can do by trying out recipes that don’t create anything in the way of waste.
3. Eat In-Season Produce
A sensible rule to observe is to eat only fruits and vegetables that are in season, which can help reduce the amount of surplus produce grown by farmers. If strawberries are in season, they are likely grown locally, and no chemicals have been used on them. If the berries are out of season, then they have most likely been transported from far away, requiring the use of added chemicals to prolong their shelf life.
4. Use Eco-Friendly Food Storage
Vacations often involve a large amount of food, which can lead to a lot of plastic trash as a result of leftovers. Consider replacing your plastic wrap with beeswax wraps; this is an ideal switch as they are able to be washed and reused by hand. Changes to consider for food storage include utilizing plastic-free storage items such as recycled glass jars or quality glass receptacles.
5. Use Eco-Friendly Cookware
Steer clear of any cookware with a non-stick coating, such as that of DuPont’s Teflon, which is produced from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE not only disrupts hormones and is carcinogenic but is also an environmental hazard that persists in the environment indefinitely. Try a cast iron pan as a good environmental choice for your cookware. I suggest taking a look at Finex and Xtrema for great-value products. They specialize in glass and ceramics.
6. Rent a Dress for Holiday Parties
You and your partner may each be hosting workplace parties this holiday season, and you may be attending additional events which require different outfits. Consider renting a dress this year to ensure you look your best! This encourages re-wearing a garment previously only worn for a single occasion and remaining untouched on a hanger afterwards, thereby lessening the environmental impact of textile waste.
7. Avoid Glass Bottles During the Holidays
It is common for wine to be served at festivities; however, did you know that breakable glass containers inflict four times more harm to the environment than plastics? It’s hard to accept as truth, I understand, but it requires considerably more energy to shatter glass than to destroy plastic. For your upcoming events, try eco-friendly alternatives to glass wine bottles like buying canned wine, great for BYOB and if you don’t want to use your wine glasses or even boxed wine. Cardboard is much simpler to decompose and can be added to your compost pile… an extra benefit here is that a single wine box usually contains four bottles.
8. Sustainable Alcohol
Several businesses have taken measures to reduce their ecological footprint. The creation of spirits, their elaborate packaging, and transportation require an extensive amount of energy, which contributes greatly to the carbon footprint.
Examine businesses such as Two Drifters Rum, Nc’Nean whiskey, and Discarded Spirits. Every one of these firms has a method of lessening their influence, both Nc’Nean and Two Drifters have a negative carbon footprint. Nc’Nean manufactures its whiskey using only native and organically grown ingredients (their containers are 100% recycled glass), and Discarded Spirits change unused ingredients into alcoholic beverages.
9. Thrift Your Décor
I’m a bit of a softie when it comes to cute decorations that create a holiday atmosphere in the home, yet I am not a fan of the cost of these items or the fact that I might only use them for a short period of time. The festivities pass in the blink of an eye and if you purchase something novel for each event, it’s sure to leave a dent in your bank account, and it could be damaging to our planet as well.
Items that are created in vast quantities, especially during festive times, tend to use a lot of energy and are a source of greenhouse gasses. The abundance of products (that are not bought) contributes to the amount of waste generated. This year try thrifting your holiday décor. You can stay with one color scheme or even find covert ways to include holiday elements in your dishes, like serving plates with autumn foliage or tumblers featuring snowflakes in the winter.
10. Repurpose Old Décor
Do you have any antiquated decorations that aren’t in as good a condition as they used to be? Don’t throw them out, repurpose them! If you want to give something a fresh look, start by applying a coat of paint to it. If your festive sign is looking a bit tattered and worn, why not give it a new lease on life? Sand away any imperfections, repaint, and add your own personalized message to it.
11. Make a Stocking from Old Clothing
If you practice Christmas or utilize stockings to bestow presents, then why not attempt to craft your own out of old garments that you have? My friend’s grandmother has an exquisite ritual where she crafts stockings for all of her grandkids and now even her great-grandkids. She creates them cautiously and customizes them with each kid’s moniker. Rather than obtaining fresh material by cutting apart used fabrics, you can access items such as sweaters, socks, and even jeans!
A Final Thought on Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips
The festive season is tough, to begin with, and attempting to lead a more aware and environmentally-friendly celebration brings its own kind of issues. It is imperative that you apply a few strategies and, with each celebration, season, attempt to integrate a few additional ones to achieve the most ecologically friendly festive period that you can. It is not essential to be ideal when it comes to being environmentally conscious; it is just essential to attempt and put forth the effort.