Top 5 Tips for Reducing Plastic Waste During the Holidays
Part of living in a consumer society is dealing with the fact that our culture has become accustomed to disposable options. We’re so used to throwing away cardboard, Styrofoam, and plastic waste products that we never even stop to think about how much we’re contributing to landfill pollution each year. If you’re concerned you might recycle, but some plastics aren’t eligible. So if you want to cut back on your plastic waste over the holiday season, here are some options you might want to try.
- Brita filter. With tons of visitors coming for dinner or to stay a few days you might end up going through tons of bottled water. Instead, splurge on a Brita filter system that lets you turn your tap water into something a bit tastier thanks to charcoal that removes chlorine, copper, mercury, and other contaminants that can cause bad flavor or prove harmful to your health.
- Skip the plastic dinner service. There’s no denying that plastic plates, cups, and utensils are easier to clean up, and this is pretty nice after you’ve gone to all the trouble of cooking for a large group of family and friends. But one reason you might not want to go this route is that it’s not very attractive. Wouldn’t you rather see the meal you worked so hard to make displayed and served on your best dishes? Plus, you’ll keep a lot of plastic out of the landfill along the way.
- Give to charity. More and more people are opting to give up on gifting as a way to avoid the disgusting display of consumerism that occurs during the holiday season, not to mention the stress and overspending that go along with it. Instead, they’re turning to charitable donations in the names of their loved ones. Honestly, most adults don’t need more stuff, and they’ll feel good about knowing that a donation has been made on their behalf, especially during this season of goodwill. The people who love you will also appreciate the fact that you’re not busting your budget just to get them something they neither want or need. Of course, you’re also doing your part not only to help others in need, but you’re helping the environment simultaneously by refusing to support new manufacturing and the pollution and waste that go hand-in-hand with it.
- Homemade gifts. Instead of buying presents sealed in plastic packaging, think about saving some money and doing a solid for the earth by creating homemade gifts instead. You can whip up some baked goods, put candles or bath supplies (bubble bath, salts, etc.) into glass jars you’ve been saving all year (from pasta sauce, jelly, etc.), or use your scrapbooking skills to make stacks of monogrammed and personalized greeting cards or stationary, just for example. You could get the whole family involved in creating unique holiday ornaments for family and friends. And you can avoid wasting plastic and other manufacturing materials, to boot.
- Gift cards. Yes, they are made of plastic, it’s true. But consider that they contain significantly less plastic than a lot of packaging and that they can often be reloaded once spent, making them into a reusable gift rather than one that must be thrown away. Plus, if you heed the “visit our site” call of many online retailers, you can buy gift cards from the comfort of your own home and even print them out on paper instead of purchasing plastic cards.