Green Tips: Holiday Starter Pack

Green Tips | November 9, 2018

The holiday season is nearly in full force. While this time of year is filled with family, friends, and celebrations, it can also be filled with over-consumption and waste.

Americans produce 25% more trash over these holiday months than the rest of the year. Forty percent of American’s food during the holidays goes to waste. An extra 1 million tons of waste per week is added to landfills during the holidays season.

How can we still celebrate without the excess and waste? Show your support for the environment this year by cutting back and considering our tips for a greener holiday season. From sustainable dinner parties to gift wrapping, here are some small ways to keep good green habits during the holidays.

Shop Local:

Supporting your local businesses is a great way to cut down on energy used by traveling (and gas savings!) and to help your community thrive. Don’t forget to bring that reusable bag with you!

Take Your Time Online:

Online shopping is a great way to get through your family’s wish list, however, rushing deliveries can do more harm than help. These speedy options reduce delivery efficiency by forcing a greater volume of delivery transportation on the roads. So, think ahead and slow it down.

Table Settings:

Dinner parties are a great way to spend the holidays. Make sure that you keep your waste to a minimum by opting for reusable utensils, dishes, and napkins. You don’t need to bust the bank buying encrusted porcelain, but doing the dishes causes far less harm than throwing disposable plates in the can. Remember, even recyclable materials like cardboard and paper become garbage once they are saturated with food.

Managing the Menu:

What you choose to serve at your holiday party can have a huge impact on the planet. Be mindful when at the grocery store and try to research what you plan to serve. Lessening your meat consumption can reduce emissions by about one third, while following certified sustainable foods can ensure your food followed environmental practices before reaching your plate. Look for the Rainforest Alliance certificate!

Gift Sustainably:

About 35% of Americans have an unused Christmas present collecting dust in their closets. Consider whether your friends and family will actually use your gift and if you receive something that you don’t need, consider donating it to families in need.

Eight thousand tons of wrapping paper are used during the holidays each year, equating to about 50,000 trees. Consider skipping the gift wrap and gift bags this year. Save the gift bags you receive for future use.

Air Fare Made Fair—Carbon Offsets:

We all know that traveling by plane requires lots of energy. However, there are now ways to balance it out. Programs are available to individuals or businesses to purchase credits that fund renewable energy and carbon capture. The idea: offset your carbon emissions by funding these programs! Check out Terrapass and Native Energy to find out more.

Still curious about how to green your holidays? Check out the Rainforest Alliance,  Sierra Club,  and the Center for Disease Control.

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