Does all the waste during the holidays give you resting grinch face?
Then yule love these tips for an eco-friendly holiday!
Puns aside, a zero-waste lifestyle during the holidays isn’t about extremes. Instead, it’s a spectrum of eco-friendly choices which you have the power to make. Sustainable living is a mindset which allows you to shift your perspective away from the culture of single-use products. Every family has their own holiday traditions, and this season we want yours to be sustainable ones! It’s more important than ever to create a fun, merry — and green — time.
Treat yo’ elf to these simple tips to help your family go green during this holiday!
1) Offset Your Carbon While Traveling!
According to the (IPCC), air travel is responsible for 3.5% of human caused climate change. It’s no surprise then that holiday travel leaves a heavy carbon footprint. Fortunately, purchasing carbon offsets for your flights is now easier than ever, and available on many mainstream booking sites like Expedia and Travelocity. So what is a carbon offset? For a small fee, you can get your airline to invest in projects which reduce greenhouse gas emissions — from planting trees, to upgrading factories with energy efficient equipment — for every mile you travel!
2) Donate Your Leftover Food!
Despite overstuffed tummies, the aftermath of holiday parties usually means an abundance of delicious leftovers. You can show kindness by donating your home cooked meals to the homeless, rather than throwing it in the trash. Here’s a few ways your leftovers can make a difference!
- Try Goodr, a service which helps redirect surplus food from families and businesses to families who are food insecure!
- Bring your leftovers to your local food banks and shelters to personally share your leftovers!
3) Green Your Table!
Did you know it takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef? Deck out your dinner table with gorgeous, plant based showstoppers like Stuffed Kabocha Squash Centerpiece, or a Lemon Poppyseed Ginger Cake are deliciously indulgent while still being healthy for you, and our planet! For inspiration, a few of our favorite vegan cookbooks are Sustainable Kitchen, The Yogini Linguine Vegan Cookbook, Vegan Yack Attack, and The Post Punk Kitchen.
Make sure to avoid disposable containers and extra packaging, and gear up on sustainable utensil kits like metal straws as a simple, easy way to reduce your environmental impact!
4) Wrap It Up!
The holiday season is always jam packed with gifts on top of gifts. What’s often overlooked however, is the pretty, decorative wrapping paper that more often than not ends up stashed in landfills. Rather than single-use glitter fused wrapping paper, opt for more sustainable and creative options such as gently used newspapers, book pages, reusable wrapping, upcycled fabric or clothing. For more sustainable seasonal tips, read our blog on Going Green this Holiday Season.
– Evelyn Wan, intern
Julia & Max, co-founders of Steel Straw