Here at Eminence Organic Skin Care, we’re committed year-round to finding earth-friendly and organic solutions to meet the needs of our business and customers. Our mission at the Eminence Certified Organic Farm is two-fold, both to enhance wellness through certified organic ingredients and do our part in healing the earth.
As the holidays get closer, it got us thinking – how can we implement our earth-friendly ideas into the season’s celebrations? Although this year’s holiday events will probably be fewer and smaller due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season will still likely produce more waste than necessary. And reducing waste is one important action we can all take to help make our beautiful earth a healthier and more sustainable place to live. Surely there are ways we can have a sustainable holiday season without skimping on the fun.
Whether you’re looking for zero waste gifts or you want to deck the halls with recycled decorations, trying to minimize waste makes the season even more delightful!
Traditional Holiday Celebrations
Holiday shopping is one of the busiest times of year. Along with all those gift purchases is quite a bit of waste, too. Here are some holiday waste facts to consider:
- During the holiday season, household waste can increase over 25% in Canada.
- In the US, more than $7 billion is spent on wrapping paper each year.
- Within six months of the gift-giving season in Canada, only 1% of purchased items are still in use. The remaining 99% has been discarded!
- 6 million rolls of plastic tape are used to wrap presents in Canada alone.
When you consider all of the additional traditional activities during the holiday season in the US and Canada, even during a scaled-down year, the waste adds up very quickly. Here’s just a sampling of the increased garbage created, as compiled by Reduce, Reuse, Renew:
- Paper waste: holiday cards, wrapping paper
- Clothing: purchasing special clothing for holiday events that aren’t worn again
- Food: excess waste takes place in the kitchen as substantially more is made for gatherings. Additionally, the use of food packaging, storage and other single-use plastics increases during festivities.
Eco-Friendly Gifts For A Zero Waste Holiday
Once you realize how much additional trash is created through the holiday season, don’t stress – there are plenty of things you can do to minimize waste without putting a damper on the fun and celebrations.
Here’s a point to remember. Any step in the right direction is a good one! Whether you implement a few eco-friendly gift ideas each year or try to get as close to a zero waste holiday this year as possible, all the positive changes are good for the environment.
If you’re looking for fun ideas for reducing waste this holiday season, check out some of these actionable and easy-to-try zero waste gifts:
- Shop your closet! Instead of shopping for an outfit you and the family will likely only wear once, head to your closet and go shopping in there – chances are you’ve got some great pieces that will work as a reusable gift.
- It doesn’t have to be a physical gift. More and more, people are loving the idea of giving and receiving experiences over physical gifts. Plus, the chances that this type of gift will be used and appreciated is much higher than an item that might end up in the trash after just a few months. Consider gift ideas like outdoor tours or perhaps a trip to the local spa to get pampered!
- Swap to digital. Instead of sending out dozens of cards, try going the more modern route and using a digital card or festive email to friends and family. If you prefer to stay traditional, opt for greeting cards that use eco-friendly and recycled materials.
Deck the Halls with Recycled Decorations
It might be fun to revamp your holiday décor every year and toss older decorations, but that adds up to a lot of extra waste.
Instead, look for ways to reuse what you have or if you do need an update, make sure it’s eco-friendly. For example, swap out old lights for more energy efficient or LED bulbs and look for reusable textiles like cloth napkins or tablecloths or glass dinnerware over single-use products.
One surprising but eco-friendly way to decorate for the holidays is to opt for a real Christmas tree instead of an artificial one. Search your local area for a farm that grows trees responsibly and once the holidays are over be sure to recycle it – trees are great for transforming into chippings that are used in local parks or garden spaces.
Do you receive gifts in holiday bags? Save them! Most often bags can be reused more than once so instead of tossing them out the day after, stash them in the closet to use again.