On average, Americans produce 25% more waste during the holiday season. Between gifts, cards, and big family meals, it’s easy to see why so much is thrown away. Here are a few helpful pointers on how you can do your part to reduce holiday waste this year.
This holiday season, consider giving experiences instead of things:
If you are going to buy physical presents, look for gifts made to last. Your recipients and the environment will be happier if fewer broken or unwanted items end up in landfills.
– Get everyone involved: Create a family game to wrap gifts in creative, reusable material. The person with the best idea wins.
– Plan ahead: Carefully unwrap gifts and save wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue paper for next year.
– Use what you already have: Wrap gifts in pages from catalogues, colorful shopping bags, or the comic section from the newspaper.
Another way to cut back on holiday waste is to prevent food waste.
The holidays are known for big meals. Here are some tips to make the most out of those meals while keeping your guests full and happy:
– If you’re going to buy disposable forks, spoons, and knives, opt for compostable brands.
– Have your family and friends serve themselves so they can choose what they want and how much they want. They’ll be less likely to leave uneaten food on the plate.
– Send leftovers home with your guests. Have reusable storage containers ready at the end of the meal for guests to take leftovers.
– Make new, creative meals with your leftovers. Web sites like Big Oven, Family Circle and Mr. Food have recipes for sweet potato cake, leftovers pot pie, cranberry dream bars, peanut turkey noodles, and more!