How Can We Reduce Waste Over the Holidays?
Waste reduction is a crucial topic for combatting climate change and helping the environment heal. It’s a concept brought up all year round, prompting people to be vigilant regarding their daily consumption. However, it’s paramount to highlight and reduce waste over the holiday season.
Looking Into Holiday Waste
Each person generates about 36 more pounds of waste than usual during the holiday season. Given the average is around 4.51 pounds of waste daily, we do nine times the amount of damage during Christmas time.
The waste we build up can be everyday garbage, but that’s not all. You may also create waste when rummaging through resources unnecessarily. Electricity and water are precious assets you should treat with care.
Waste Reduction Tips to Try
As you celebrate the holidays, and get together with loved ones, it’s essential to be mindful and reduce waste when possible. Here is a compilation of waste reduction tips to explore as the year ends:
1. Purchase the Food You Can Consume
If you’re a host for dinner parties, a big and grand menu is often one of the top things to organize. There’s always an urge to buy more food to ensure guests are stuffed, but it’s vital to note around 40% of food supplies turn to waste.
Overloading your refrigerator may not be the best practice. Know who you’re preparing the dinner for and buy only the portions you need to avoid food waste. If there are any leftovers, you can simply repurpose them into another dish.
2. Find Alternatives to Plastic Products
The holidays are the season of giving, but a plethora of plastic awaits you at the end of it. There are Christmas decorations and tons of gifts made from synthetic material. It makes the reality of having more plastic waste than fish in the ocean in 2050 seem even more possible.
Look for alternatives that are more reusable, instead of conjuring up more waste. For instance, an all-natural cactus can be a better Christmas tree than its plastic counterpart. You can even keep and nurture this green plant after the holiday season. And with gifts, sustainably-made clothes are ideal for reducing waste.
3. Conserve Your Water Usage
People often gloss over water waste, but it’s prominent during this whimsical time of year. There are more dishes to wash and clothes to put through the laundry. With various gatherings, you’ll likely have to freshen up and wind down in the bathroom.
Before turning on the faucet, try to think of some water conservation methods. For example, choosing a shower instead of running a bath shaves off at least 50% of your overall water consumption.
4. Turn Off the Christmas Lights
Christmas lights are undeniably pretty, which is why many families like to leave them on 24/7. However, it’s essential to practice energy conservation. Contributing to residential energy use when you don’t have to can create more environmental pollution.
Set a time for when you want the Christmas lights on. They have little impact during the day, so plug them in when nighttime comes. When it’s time to head to bed, unplug them. It’s better for minimizing waste and it can also lower your electric bill.
5. Recycle Gift Packaging
You usually tear off the wrapping when you receive presents and then forget about it. While it’s normal to focus on the gifts inside, recycle the packaging when you can. Dispose of non-recyclable items like packing foam and wax-based wrappers properly.
On the other hand, when giving gifts to your loved ones, be more waste-conscious when wrapping them. Newspaper or magazine paper is a great way to utilize any materials you aren’t reading anymore. You can also look into eco-friendly and compostable wrapping paper.
Reduce Waste Over the Holidays
Reducing waste takes effort, but it’s good to lighten or eliminate the load your home contributes to landfills and greenhouse gases. Try the tips above and celebrate your accomplishment with a nice holiday cocktail or treat.