5 Affordable Ways to Go Zero Waste for Christmas
Christmas is often a season of indulgence. But between gifts, parties, and decorations, the holiday can take a toll on the environment. Having a zero waste Christmas can help you enjoy all the season has to offer without harming the environment. Even if a zero waste Christmas isn’t in the cards for your family, incorporating a few of these eco-friendly principles can help lessen the environmental impact and make you feel a little better about the indulgences you just can’t resist! Here are five simple zero waste tips to introduce to your festivities.
Ditch the Wrapping Paper
Wrapping gifts can create a lot of waste. Between wrapping paper, tape, boxes, and bows, a lot of nearly new materials are thrown away. Sure, wrapped Christmas gifts may look appealing, but there are plenty of ways to avoid wrapping gifts without transforming into the Grinch.
One way to avoid gift wrap is to gift experiences or subscriptions. Theater tickets, cooking or art classes, streaming service subscriptions, and other non-physical products can’t be wrapped like many gifts. Plus, the lack of a physical product also means your gift won’t end up in a landfill if the recipient doesn’t like it.
Another option is to wrap your gifts using reusable materials. Gift bags and bows can be reused year after year. While they may eventually wear out, reusing them can at least reduce the impact. Otherwise, you might also consider wrapping your gifts in swaths of scrap fabric. You might use material from worn-out clothes or towels. Once the gifts are unwrapped, you can pack the fabric away to use again.
Reuse Whatever You Can
The holiday season is hectic, so you may be sorely tempted to throw things away just to save time and clutter. However, a lot of your disposable Christmas products can be repurposed and reused.
For instance, if you receive something in a bottle, jar, box, or tin, you might consider repurposing it for storage. If you receive a wrapped gift, don’t just throw away the paper! You might be able to use it again to wrap other gifts. If not, it may come in handy for crafting projects.
Avoid Disposable Dishes and Utensils
Disposable tableware can seem irresistibly convenient during this hectic time of year. However, it also creates a lot of waste. If you don’t have enough plates or silverware for your party, you can often snag great deals at resale shops. Otherwise, some of your guests may be willing to lend some of their tableware. While it may not be quite as convenient as disposable tableware, it is more eco-friendly and can add an elegant touch to your party.
Consider Decorating with Natural Materials
Christmas decor can look so cheery and festive. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a dime or create waste to add a little holiday cheer! Fallen pine branches, pinecones, and acorns look like seasonally appropriate decor. If you bring them into your house, just be aware of the potential for houseguests (bugs…we mean bugs), but the same is true with fresh Christmas trees and wreaths that you may purchase.
Eat What You Prepare
There’s so much delicious food this time of year! But the problem is, you can’t always find room in your stomach to eat everything you make. But tossing dishes wastes the food and money. To avoid throwing away food, try to limit what you make to what you know you’ll eat. If you wind up with too many leftovers, don’t worry! You can pop them in your freezer to enjoy later.
Going all-in with a zero waste Christmas may be daunting, but even little steps can make a big difference. What do you do to reduce waste at Christmastime? Share your ideas in the comments section below!
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