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The original item was published from 12/1/2022 11:10:00 AM to 12/1/2022 11:11:28 AM.
Transportation & Public Works - News
Posted on: December 1, 2022
[ARCHIVED] Zero Waste Holidays: Entertaining Tips
The holidays are a wonderful time for fun festivities and spending time with friends and family, however, it's also a time when we tend to create excess waste. The holidays often include activities such as decorating our homes, online shopping resulting in countless cardboard boxes and packaging, and utilizing plastic food ware for convenience while cooking meals for large groups. Simply put, the holidays can add up to a lot of waste, though if we consciously plan, we can maintain our focus on zero-waste living while still enjoying the holidays.
Making conscious and simple changes towards reducing our environmental footprint this holiday season can result in significant long-term benefits to the environment. Let's explore some easy easy ways you can reduce waste while entertaining this holiday season.
Keep it Real - Reuse
When entertaining, use your reusable plates, cups, silverware, and cloth napkins – avoid single use plastic disposables. Avoid the wasteful practice of using something “one-time” and throwing it away. It may mean a bit more clean-up at the end of the evening, but your garbage bin won’t be overflowing with single use tableware. Keeping it real is also a great way to elevate your party.
If you don’t have enough glassware or plates, encourage everyone to bring their own. Your guests won’t forget which glass is theirs and your clean-up will be reduced.
As often as possible, reuse or source materials already on hand for gifts purchased during the holiday season. Reuse cardboard boxes for future needs like storage or moving, and reuse gift bags or wrapping paper for future gifts. You can also wrap your gifts with materials you have on hand – reusable cloth fabric, leftover paper from last year, newspaper or magazines, or even reusable baskets or jars. The gift is what truly matters – not the packaging – most people will appreciate your resourcefulness and consideration for the environment when exchanging gifts during the holiday season!
You don’t need to go overboard with food. Buy groceries with a specific number of servings in mind. Clean out your fridge by creating something delicious with your leftovers.
Shop for groceries from farmers markets and/or from grocery store bulk containers. This will reduce the amount of packaging you acquire. Use reusable cloth bags for your groceries and produce. The key here is to come prepared to the grocery story with your reusable bags, so you consciously avoid using the store provided plastic or paper bag options.
Remember to dispose of any unused or uneaten food in your green organics cart versus your garbage bin!
When decorating this holiday season think about using items around you, leaves, branches, and nuts as centerpieces. Crafting homemade decorations can be a fun activity for the family and will create lasting memories!
Reuse and upcycle your old decorations rather than buying new.
Send e-cards versus traditional single-use disposable paper cards
Turn off your lights and use a timer to minimize energy consumption
Give gifts that help others to reduce their waste – reusable bags, cloth napkins, steel water bottles, gift experiences instead of items, etc.