Over 6 million tons of waste will be created this holiday season. Households will create 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Trash from shipping and gift wrap alone makes an additional 4 million tons of waste. 2.65 billion Christmas cards are printed each year. That is enough to cover an entire football field 10 stories high! 30 million Christmas trees and nearly a quarter of our food ends up in landfills. According to a national survey, 60% of people receive unwanted gifts and 70% would welcome less emphasis on gifting and spending. We know we are a consumer company, but we want to live up to our name and be conscious consumers. For our part, our quality garments are built to last, our fabric is eco and sustainable and we don’t use plastic in our shipping! In this post, we’ll be sharing more ways to reduce your waste this holiday season.
Instead of buying lots of gifts with little meaning, opt to give experiences. Anything from a nice dinner, to a day at the museum, to tickets to the ballet or a football game can become a meaningful gift and a wonderful way to be present with the receiver. Plus, you eliminate the shipping and the gift wrap.
Use Gift Wrap Alternatives
As thrifty as we are here with our cutting, we end up with extra beautiful fabric. We can’t wait to try out the Furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping, using our fabrics scraps. Some other ideas to reduce gift wrap waste include using old maps, magazines, newspapers and miscellaneous craft scraps. You can reduce tape by using twine and opting for compostable branches or springs instead of ribbons or bows.
Use Zero Waste Decorations
This time of year nearly every store has multiple aisles of decor dedicated to holiday decor, which equals a lot of waste! Try shopping second hand instead. You can find some gems at thrift shops or shop curated collections at antique shops. Don’t underestimate items found in nature or even around the house. Branches shine when placed in vases around the house and clothes pins with recycled bags make a perfect advent calendar.
When giving small gifts utilize the stockings so each item does not have to be individually wrapped.
photo: A Merry Thought
Recycle Last Year’s Cards
Last year’s Christmas cards can be used to make holiday crafts like these ornaments, gift tags, bunting or even paper dolls. See more ideas here.
via: Martha Stewart
Bring Out The China
We know dishes are annoying, but so is the additional holiday party waste in landfills and oceans. Have fun styling your table and opt for washable dish ware and reusable napkins and tablecloths.
This is a tough one, but the age old troupe is true: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Give thoughtfully and with discretion. A nice idea would be to add a little something handmade or new to make it extra special.
Opt For a Real Tree & Compost It When Finished
If possible, choose a potted tree. A smaller, potted tree can be just as festive as a cut tree. Plus, you can plant it yourself or donate it to a local tree-planting group! If you can’t find a potted tree, buy a real tree and compost it when finished. Find a local composting service to pick it up. Finally, artificial trees are often made from PVC, which off-gasses toxic chemicals into your home. If you do go with an artificial tree, make sure you choose one that’s nontoxic.
photo: Francois et Moi
Make Consumable Gifts
Start collecting jars now and make consumable gifts like this granola, which the receiver can use and then reuse the jar. Search Pinterest for endless consumable gift ideas like food, soap, beauty or cleaning products.
Skip the White Elephant Swap
I don’t want to be the wet blanket, but with the amount of waste that is already created during the holiday season, a game with the object of giving the most cringe-worthy gift does not make any sense. Instead be a conscious consumer and give something you know the receiver will use and enjoy.
Do you have other ideas? Please share in the comments!