As the holidays approach, it’s important to remember that we can all get caught up in the excess of this exciting, glittering season. But if we really care about the world we live in, and care about the futures of our children, neighbors, family, and friends, it’s important to keep ourselves in check in order to reduce waste during the holidays.
Here are a few conscious tips from Immediate Appliance that can help you keep tabs on your waste output:
Reduce Food Waste:
- Shop Realistically: It’s tempting to go overboard with food shopping during the holidays. With our family and friends and guests galore coming over our homes, of course we want to be well-stocked and well-prepared. But oftentimes we don’t grocery-shop with a plan, and we end up with too much food, not enough fridge space, and extra waste that could have been avoidable. When shopping, think of your guests, think of portions, and resist the urge to experiment with specialty food items just because the packaging is enticing or something is on sale. Also, don’t forget your shopping list!
- Don’t Forget the Leftovers: Don’t you dare throw out those leftovers! Stored properly and efficiently, leftovers can feed you and your family for a few extra days. And if you have some portable Tupperware handy, you can have your guests take home a meal to-go for later.
- Donate Excess Food: Uh oh, bought too much? Is your pantry overflowing with cans of cranberry sauce and extra potatoes? Don’t forget about the families in need this holiday season. Donate your extra food to the local food bank, food-recovery program, housing shelter, or other charity organizations and amp up your giving spirit.
Reduce Gift Waste:
- Wrap Consciously: Sure, it’s easy to get all caught up in the ribbons and bows of the holiday season. But remember: wrapping paper – and all its accouterments – is just going to get thrown out within seconds of gift opening. So wrap smart, wrap minimal, and not only will you save money on expensive gift-wrapping
- Gift Sustainable: Really think about what you’re giving this holiday season. Eco-friendly, animal-friendly, and socially-friendly gifts go a long way and pack a bigger punch. Always check to see if your gift has been tested on animals, contains toxic chemicals, was created or produced unethically or in poor conditions, or if it is not fair-trade. A truly thoughtful gift is a thought-provoking gift.
Reduce Carbon Emissions:
- Carpool & Travel Smart: Holiday shopping typically means a lot of driving. From the mall to the grocery store to family celebrations, office holiday parties, and beyond, everyone seems to be on the go! So, travel smart and travel together. By carpooling, you can reduce carbon emissions and save money on gas and overall mileage. And if you have access to mass transit, utilize it!
Reduce Energy Waste:
- Don’t Over Decorate: Of course lighting is a huge and important part of holiday decorating and creating the joyful glow of the season, but overdoing it can waste energy and cost you extra money! So decorate consciously, and turn your slighting – on the tree, the house, or otherwise – off at night before you to go bed.