Simple steps toward reducing waste this holiday season

This holiday season offers a chance for people to celebrate in more eco-friendly ways, as there is growing concern about climate change. It is possible to reduce waste by making small changes in the way you gift wrap, send out cards, decorate, and entertain. You can also save money.

Simple steps toward reducing waste this holiday season

This holiday season offers a chance for people to celebrate in more eco-friendly ways, as there is growing concern about climate change. It is possible to reduce waste by making small changes in the way you gift wrap, send out cards, decorate, and entertain. You can also save money.

Merve Dikici
Merve Dikici
20 November 2021 Saturday 15:37
631 Reads
Simple steps toward reducing waste this holiday season

This holiday season offers a chance for people to celebrate in more eco-friendly ways, as there is growing concern about climate change. It is possible to reduce waste by making small changes in the way you gift wrap, send out cards, decorate, and entertain. You can also save money.

"This year, it's important to think about sustainability when you approach the holidays. It's a great way for you to feel good as the giving season begins," Liz Vaccariello is editor in chief at Real Simple.

Melissa Ozawa, Martha Stewart Living's features editor and garden editor, suggests that you think carefully about the things you are buying. She recommends that you focus on items that will last and have meaning.

Better Homes & Gardens presents garland made from upcycled egg cartons. 

This often refers to natural and recyclable materials.

It's important to ask yourself "Do I really need this?" What will I do with it? Ozawa asks, "What's the effect on the planet?"

Here are some activities you might be interested in:

GIFT WRAP

Many people are turning to reusable bags and other alternatives because of the environmental concerns about paper waste. Wrapping paper companies have introduced recyclable lines or eliminated glitter from their products.

Vaccariello suggests stocking up on ribbons and gift bags that are available and then reusing them.

You can also use old maps and pages from magazines to make recyclable gift wrap. Amy Panos is the home editor at Better Homes & Gardens.

Ozawa and she both like the Japanese tradition furoshiki , where gifts are elegantly wrapped with cloth. You can find these beautiful and strong wrapping cloths in shops or online.

You can also use scarves or tea towels in bright colors, which makes the wrapping cloth part the gift. Better Homes has a guide for wrapping in cloth on its website.

Ten Thousand Villages features gift wrap made of saris, which are recycled by artisans from Bangladesh. 

HOLIDAY CARDS

It's now possible to send and receive electronic cards. Vaccariello says that there are many digital options available now and that people still get the same joy from it."

If you prefer traditional cards, you might consider printing them on recycled paper and skipping any with glitter or foil.

California-based PaperCulture.com's cards,, for instance, are printed on 100% postconsumer recycled papers. The company claims that it has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation and Trees for the Future to offset its carbon footprint.

CEO Christopher Wu says that there is room and demand to save the planet, while still having inspiring things in their design.

DECORATIONS

An ornament made from an upcycled yogurt container. 

Vaccariello suggests that you think about reusing and recycling. Garlands and wreaths can be made from greenery that has been left over from trimming trees or cutting from the outside.

Panos suggests that you can cut out holiday cards from last year and hang them as decorations.

Ozawa at Martha Stewart Living suggests that you replace your holiday lights with energy-saving LEDs if they are older. According to Energy Star, they use 75% less energy and last for years, she claims.

THE TREE

Real or artificial? Ozawa says that buying a real Christmas tree at a local farm is a better choice.

She says that trees are planted to be cut and that new trees are replanted each year so that the cycle of growth continues.

"Buying local means it didn't require a lot of fossil fuels to reach you. Many municipalities also pick up the trees after the holidays to chip them for mulch. A fresh-cut tree is a wonderful smell.

She suggests that you plan to keep an artificial tree for many years if you do decide to buy one.

Asey Grogan (owner of Silver Bells Tree Farm, and president of The Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association) trims a noble Fir at his 400-acre Christmas Tree Farm in Silverton in Oregon in 2018. 

"I would also be interested in the material of the artificial trees. Ask yourself if it is made from recycled materials before you make your decision. Ozawa suggests that it can be recycled.

ENTERTAINING

Avoid single-use plastics when hosting a party. Instead, use regular plates and cups that are more eco-friendly. Vaccariello says that single-use is not an option. However, can be made from sugarcane or bamboo.

Panos reminds us to make sure that you label your bins for recyclables and compostables. It will still end up in trash.

She suggests that guests not give them a bag of doggie treats or plastic bags on their way out. Instead, they should save takeout containers and recycle them.

Panos says, "And at the conclusion of the party consider donating unopened bags and cans of food a food pantry."

Updated: 20.11.2021 15:40
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