**This is a reblog from Do It Green! Minnesota. Keep up the great work, guys!**
December is the time of year when many families gather to share a meal and to celebrate the season.
Whatever our backgrounds or traditions may be, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, America’s household waste increases by more than 25% which includes extra food, shopping bags, packaging, and wrapping paper.
Here are some easy ways to decrease waste this time of year:
- Give a non-material gift like tickets to a theatre, musical or sporting event.
- Give a trip to the zoo or to a museum.
- Spend quality time away from the mall with family and friends.
- Go sledding, skiing or cross country skiing, host a game night, or volunteer together.
- Give a membership to the Minnesota Tool Library or the Minneapolis Toy Library.
- Give the gift of your time, such as help with home improvement or gardening projects.
- Buy second hand presents. You can find unique treasures at thrift stores and antique stores.
- Pass on good books you’ve already read.
- Give a homemade gift like cookies, bread or jam.
- Consider using alternative gift wrap. Most wrapping paper is not recyclable. Wrap your presents in scarves or cloth, newspaper or brown paper using natural materials as decoration or try Furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping technique).
- Buy used decorations or make your own using natural materials.
- Use reusable tableware and cloth napkins when you entertain.
You can find more ideas from MPCA’s Make Memories Not Trash, Rethink Recycling’s Rudolph the Green Smart Reindeer, and on our website site.
The holiday season is a time of joy, family, friends, warm drinks, lights, and laughter. However it is also a time where there is an increase in waste. Here are five things you can do to diminish your holiday waste:
Use Sustainable Dishware
Instead of using disposable dishes and utensils for your holiday parties and dinners, choose to use reusable dishware. If you don’t have enough you can always borrow from a friend or ask guests to bring some. If you end up having to use disposable dishware, buy some that come from recycled or compostable material. If you plan on using straws, check out reusable straws, you can even consider giving them as stocking stuffers. In addition, make sure your guests know where your recycling bin is so they don’t place their empty bottles and cans in the trash.
Decrease Food Waste
One way to decrease food waste is to eat as many cookies as possible!
One way to decrease food waste is to avoid overbuying food. Plan ahead and figure outexactly how much food. This will help decrease the amount of food waste you might end up throwing away. Also consider buying your food in bulk to decrease packaging, and don’t forget your reusable grocery bag. If you find yourself with a lot of leftover food, invite some friends ever to help you finish your leftovers.