How Can You Make Every Holiday an Eco-Friendly Holiday?
Moment of honesty: celebrating holidays will always result in a plethora of trash. Anytime you have a large gathering, the potential for excessive waste to be created increases. Even if you can afford to use eco-friendly wrapping paper, paper towels, and paper plates, if you dispose of them in the wrong way, it will have all been for naught. I, personally, can’t afford to have an entirely eco-friendly holiday if I want it be exactly like a “typical” holiday. Especially because I love to host gatherings and parties! I think it’d be really awesome, but its just not in my budget, yet. While I can’t make everything 100% sustainable, I can be responsible when it comes to the planning and the aftermath. We can all plan to have an eco-friendly holiday if we follow these simple tips. No matter what holiday you celebrate, plan ahead and make your holiday celebration one that will do the least harm on our Earth.
Quick Holiday Pollution Facts:
- “The volume of household waste in the United States generally increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day – about 1 million extra tons.” 
- “8,000 tons of wrapping paper are used each year, equating to roughly 50,000 trees.” 
- “America wastes 40% of its total food.” Buy only what you need, and eat leftovers! 
- Plastic is not biodegradable. As a result, plastic can be found everywhere – in landfills, on the streets, and in bodies of water (ocean, lake, etc). 
- Only 1% to 3% of plastic bags are actually ever recycled. 
Eco-Friendly Holiday Planning & Cleanup
Shop with reusable bags
Before you leave the house to purchase all of the food, utensils, and decorations for your holiday party, don’t forget your reusable bags! Reusable bags eliminate the need for plastic bags, which ultimately create a lot of waste. Plastic bags cause pollution from the moment they are created (the process used to make them) until they are disposed of. In reality, people only recycle about 1% to 3% of the plastic bags they take home. Instead of saying you’ll recycle them, skip them altogether. Use reusable bags like these Envirobagz. I love the Envirobagz because they are a set that can velcro together, and they are super easy to use!
instead of trash cans alone, provide recycling bins to dispose of trash at your holiday party. If you don’t have a fancy recycling station setup, no worries. Simple trash cans with signs above them will get the job done. Tell guests which bins to use for what, or use signs with pictures of items to show them how to recycle the things that they use. Bin ideas include: Compostable, Paper, Plastic, Metal. Items to recycle include wrapping paper, cans and plastic bottles, and paper plates. Place food scraps and compostable paper into the compostable bin. This step will help you to easily recycle once the party is over. The work of separating things will already be done!
Clean up, Reuse, & Recycle
Fireworks are pretty when they light p the sky, but they have an ugly side once they’ve been used and forgotten. On holidays that allow for fireworks, pick up every piece that you use. Scraps of fireworks left on the ground contribute to litter that pollutes the land and water in our communities. Don’t just leave them on the ground. Pick up your firework scraps and dispose of them properly by soaking them in water and placing them in the trashcan. Read more about how to dispose of firework via Patch.
On gift giving holidays, make them eco-friendly holidays by reusing and recycling gift packages. Recycle gift wrapping paper, boxes and bags by saving them to reuse or placing them in a recycle bin if they are too torn to reuse.
Invest in ONE sustainable party necessity
There are several companies popping up that provide sustainable party favors, utensils, decor, and more. Invest in just one way to make your party a little more sustainable. Buy compostable paper plates & bowls or paper towels and tell your guests to place them in the compostable bin once they have finished with them. Pictured above is a table place setting featuring sustainable and compostable plates, napkins, cups, and utensils by Susty Party.
Reading these simple steps and acting on them will help you to have a more eco-friendly holiday! Before you know it, you’ll be using the sustainable gift guides I’ve created, too. Then one day, we’ll all be purchasing sustainable party decor, gifts, food, and more. Baby steps, folks. Baby steps!
xoxo dolls & dudes,