When we think about the holidays, we do not associate it with zero waste and most of the time we just forget that aspect. Unfortunately, during the holiday season, we throw away 25% more trash than any other time of the year. That is just crazy when you think about it. But how could we be more conscious about our waste? Maybe this year we could find a way to be less waist-full during this festive season. Here are some ideas that can help.
1. Less is More
Before the holidays and receiving a ton of new stuff, recycle (sell or donate) your old belongings that you don’t use or want anymore. Cleaning & reducing the number of things that you have, can be liberating and will show you just how much you do not use & really don’t need. This will help you make more conscious choices in the future.
2. Use our digital world
Holidays, birthdays, special events cards are a great way to stay in touch and show your love. Cards are received and disposed of within a month. And, that small piece of paper received is not the only problem. The glitter, paint and other decorations make cards not as recyclable as we may think and often times not recyclable at all. Thus the time, energy and resources put into these cards are not sustainable given the short amount of time we keep & enjoy them. Thanks to technology, we can now digitally send holiday cards, no paper required, keeping the tradition of connection with family & friends alive!
3. No food No party
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3. Main course:
4. Plastic trees, a big No No!
Did you know that a single plastic tree needs to be used for 20 years just to leave an environmental footprint as small as a natural one? If you have a yard, consider buying a living tree that you would plant back every year or just decorate it outside instead of inside. Of course, if you are crafty, you can always create your own version of a Christmas tree with cardboard, books, wood pallets …
5. Be creative
6. Give without counting
Who said we HAVE to give material gifts? Why wouldn’t we rethink the whole concept of gifts? What is more important for you? Having the latest trends or having some quality time with the one you love? Why wouldn’t we use our money & energy to plan holidays, cooking together or even traveling?
Let’s think outside the box and give each other something really special! Like an experience box, a donation to a good cause, a seasonal organic fruit or vegetable basket, a homemade the tea blend, a homemade spice blend, a homemade jar of jam, a homemade knitted blanket or even some handmade beauty products…
7. Is a naked gift still a gift?
Of course, a naked gift is still a gift! Did you know that 227,000 miles worth of wrapping paper gets thrown away over the holiday season? Most of it will never be recycled because of the dyes, lamination, or the fact that it contains non-paper additives.
To reduce this waste reuse old packaging, use existing materials like bags, newspapers, magazines, scarves, cloth or fabrics…
Last small fact, 25 % increase of waste represents about 1 million extra tons of garbage, in North America alone! The holidays don’t need to be synonymous with waste. Let’s Rethink & Simplify our traditions, this will give us some peace of mind and of course, a little more harmony & peace on earth.