Each holiday season, there is so much money spent on presents, food, gift wrap, decorations, and lighting up our homes. Whether in-store or online shopping, it is so important for us to keep in mind that many of the trappings of the season end up in the trash and ultimately in landfill. While it’s a season to celebrate with our loved ones, let’s also try to focus on making this holiday season a more sustainable one.
Here are some really easy ways that everyone can join the “happy sustainable holidays” movement:
- Try alternatives to gift wraps- Gift wrapping paper found in stores is cheap and convenient. But colorful and shiny foils are not recyclable. Even if you have a shredder, most wrapping paper contains dyes, glitter, and laminates and is often too thin to be recycled effectively. Try an alternative like a colorful section of the newspaper, or opt for the recycled, recyclable kraft paper and a beautiful, reusable ribbon.
- Use LED Lights- Conventional holiday mini lights use a lot more energy than LED lights. LED lights not only help to save on energy but they last much longer - and they will help to reduce your carbon footprint. Even better, string some pom poms together for a chic, zero-energy solution.
- DIY gifts- Gifting your friends and family something that you made yourself is thoughtful and touching. It could be handmade soap, candles, or a beautiful photo frame with your family picture in it! Look for ways to minimize waste and recycle materials. For instance, you could recycle t-shirts to make t-shirt yarn for hand-knitting.
- Eco-friendly gifting- Try choosing gifts that are sustainable and recyclable and that also come with recyclable packing. You could gift reusable items like water bottles, bamboo products, organic soaps, or wallets and accessories made from rescued off cuts of leather, recycled or sustainable materials. Gifting an “experience” like a movie ticket or a fun outing that will be memorable is a great option too.
Use a container-grown Christmas tree- Though it seems like buying a plastic Christmas tree is more sustainable, but consider that when you decide to replace it after a few years, it will just end up as landfill. Instead, use a container-grown Christmas tree that you can plant in your yard during the spring. You could also use a potted tree and then opt for a recycling program if there is one in your city. It is really on trend to have Christmas trees made from branches that stick out every which way - and this gives you a great opportunity to get creative!
- Ditch the single-use dinnerware and plastic containers- When going sustainable, using regular dishware and containers for storing leftovers is much kinder to the environment than plastic plates and cutlery. Single-use plates and storage containers generate waste and are oftentimes not recyclable.
Many of us don’t consider food waste when we think of more sustainable entertaining, but it is something we should keep in mind when supermarket shopping. If you are having a party or family gathering this holiday season, try to not over-cater, and think about saving any leftovers in your freezer or donating them to your local food bank.
Practicing sustainability may not always be easy, but it is a conscious effort that will reap rewards for us and for future generations. Let’s all use this holiday season to spread this message by example, and from all of the Hyer Goods team, have a safe and happy holiday.