5 Ways to Be More Sustainable this Holiday Season

gift wrapped presents

The hanging wreaths, twinkling lights and dropping temperatures must be an indication that the holiday season is upon us. While this time of year is a great time to get together and celebrate with friends and family, it can also be a time where wastefulness kicks into full gear. So we’ve compiled a few tips and swap on how to make your holidays more sustainable.

Gift experiences
Time is by far one of our most precious resources and with how busy life gets, it’s likely that you’ve neglected spending time with some of your friends and family. So rather than trying to find a physical gift for them that they might not even end up using very often, consider gifting them an experience that you can share. Not only does it reduce waste, but it gives you a perfect opportunity to make memories with a loved one. 

Just in Rochester, you could gift them a food tour, a class at the Rochester Brainery or even take them for a ski trip day at Bristol, and that’s just the beginning. 


Reuse your wrapping paper and ribbons
Okay, so this might sound a bit strange at first, but just think about the mounds of wrapping that we throw away during the holidays. If you’re careful opening the wrapping paper, it can definitely be reused. If you’re not that dedicated though, you can still reuse items like boxes and ribbons (which are meant to be tied numerous times anyways). A lot of wrapping items have sequins, glitter, and plastics that make them difficult to recycle, so if you’re going to buy new wrapping paper, make sure you find one that can be recycled after the holidays!

used wrapping paper

Make sure you eat the leftovers
Is this an obvious one? Maybe. However, we all know that around the holidays, food is generally abundant to the point where you’re stuck eating leftovers for a week and then you end up throwing away the rest. In order to combat food waste and keep you excited about your meals (rather than dreading the fact that you’re eating turkey for the 5th day in a row) try to find some easy recipes to repurpose your leftover food. Whether it’s Ross’ leftover Moist Maker sandwich or a turkey curry or soup, find a recipe, get the family involved, and give new life to all your leftovers! 

Leftovers in tupperware

Don’t buy the newest trendiest holiday decor each year
If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you might be feeling the pressure to have an all-new decorations theme this year and buy the trendiest decor pieces because otherwise how could you possibly be holiday-ready? Turns out, you can still decorate without breaking the bank. Whether you shop your own stash, do some DIY decorating, or simply stick to traditional decor that you can reuse each year, you can create a special and celebratory space without creating excessive amounts of waste. You can also consider creating a special time-capsule ornament collection by buying one special ornament each year.

homemade ornaments

Support local businesses and invest in gifts made to last
If you absolutely insist on buying a physical gift, try to be more conscious with where your money is going. For starters, you might want to consider buying one nicer gift that is made to last rather than a collection of cheaper gifts. Additionally, you can purchase your gift from a local artist or shop where you can be sure that your hard earned money is going directly to support an individual, their business and families. You could also look into purchasing a gift from companies with strong sustainability practices like Allbirds or ones who work to employ women in poverty like ABLE. 

Tagged: Gift Ideas, going green holiday, rochester holidays,