We’ve already established that the holiday season can be rough on the waistline. But how about the effects on the environment? It turns out that the holiday season may not be the most environmentally friendly time of year after all. So why not take these simple steps to ensure a greener holiday season?
1. Go organic: There’s never a better time to turn to organics than when you’re cooking a huge meal. And why not step it up a notch further? Check out your local farmer’s market for all the greens and fruits you need to make those side dishes. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll also do something good for the earth.
2. Don’t forget the canvas: Bags, that is. We all know how much food it takes to make a holiday meal. Bring those canvas bags to the supermarket and skip all the plastic it takes to bag all those groceries. Nothing gets to me more than watching clerks double bag each individual item, leading to a mountain of plastic bags. Switch to canvas, you can fit more items in the bag and you won’t add pounds to landfills everywhere, so really it’s a win-win.
3. Forgo the disposable: While we’re on the topic of plastic, skip the disposable napkins, plates, forks, etc. Clean up maybe easier, but come on, it’s such a waste (unless you’re like my aunt and you carefully wash your disposable items and put them away for next year, in which case you have just entirely defeated the purpose of disposable goods anyway). It’s honestly not that much extra effort, so might as well not be wasteful.
4. Package leftovers properly: First things first, never throw away leftovers. I mean, I assume none of you do that, but I figure I should cover all the bases. Second, do not wrap leftovers in tin foil or Saran wrap. That’s insanity. And wasteful. This is the perfect opportunity to break out all the tupperware that has been lurking somewhere in the depths of your pantry. Also, if you tend to give leftovers to guests, consider asking them to bring their own plastic containers for easier leftover management.
5. Decorate naturally: Who said good looking decorations had to come from a store or be made out of plastic? Nature is actually pretty good at creating lovely decorations. Gather up a few leaves and pine cones to make a nice centerpiece. Cheap, easy, and environmentally friendly!
Happy holidays everyone!
(Photo by warrenski)