The Holidays can be an extremely wasteful time. All the extra food, travel, wrapping supplies and more... There is no reason to cancel your celebration BUT, here are some ways that you can make the Holiday season more sustainable:
1. Get re-usable food storage for all those leftovers. Make sure to write you name on the stuff for safe return. You could also ask guests to bring their own storage option. Make sure to skip the plastic, tinfoil and baggies.
2. Shop locally! Think about the shipping time (not a sustainable way to attain goods) and the packaging that comes with each shipped item. Skip all that and buy locally. Plus, how great is it to support your local community (especially this year).
3. Deck the halls with energy efficient LED lights. For decorating as well as general light usage, LED lights will cut down on household energy, and a side advantage, they last longer! Another idea is to put your lights on a timer and have them 'on' when necessary.
4. Pick the right tree.. If you buy a high quality Faux tree and use it for MANY years, that's more sustainable than buying a new fake free every few years. Find one you like and stick to it. Another option is to go real and shop at a sustainable tree farm, but don't forget to recycle it wisely, though. You could replant it or use it as mulch. Look at your families preferences and make the right decision for you.
5. Re-use decorations. I know, I know.. but Target. Try to limit the amount of new 'stuff' you buy each holiday and re-use the old as much as possible by only adding in 1-2 new items each year. This will make the new items even more special.
6. Skip the Holiday card or go digital. Thats a lot of paper, money and energy, all used for something that will get throw away in a month or 2. Opt for a newsletter or a digital card. For close relative only, you could get photos printed and write a message on the back with the intention that they will frame it.
7. Gift Wrapping... Look for paper that is '100 % recycled materials' + try to reuse old bags and tissue paper. Think re-usable market bags, totes and baskets. Whatever you can do to limit the amount of waste in this category will make the biggest impact. Less is more!