How To Give and Celebrate with Minimal Waste

Are you, like us, constantly looking for ways to reduce waste in your own life and maybe even influence others in your orbit to do the same?

This time of year can be a challenging balancing act for those of us who want to embrace a spirit of generosity while also staying on a personal path aiming towards zero waste.

We have compiled a list of some of our favorite low-waste gifting and holiday ideas from sustainably-minded friends and cohorts around the world. Our suggestion is to choose just THREE ideas that are new to you, and perhaps begin new traditions for years to come with your family and friends. 

Adapted from Greenpeace:

  1. Shop small and local: Heading to homegrown local stores can keep your carbon footprint low and help stimulate your neighborhood’s economy.
  2. Purchase long-lasting items: Don’t get sucked into the idea that your friends and family need the new version of everything every year. Give gifts that last, and they’ll be grateful for a long time.
  3. Make your own gifts or buy vintage: Get your craft on! Making your own gift is a great way to give green, and buying vintage or second-hand items means you’re skipping all the carbon pollution in making something new.
  4. Give experiences, not stuff: The best, most memorable gifts are often experiences. Try making a delicious homemade dinner, or taking your friend on a trip to somewhere great nearby. They’ll probably appreciate it more than another sweater or gadget, and you’ll get to feel great knowing that you gave an environmentally friendly gift.
  5. Ditch the tape, ribbon and wrapping paper! Use string, cloth remnants, scarves, cloth bags, old maps, upcycled magazines, even decorated brown paper! Use natural greenery and foraged sprigs instead of plastic bows and ribbons.

Adapted from LiveKindly:

  1. Plan ahead to reduce food waste: Clear out your freezer ahead of your holiday meal shopping. Freezing food is an excellent way to prevent waste, and you can freeze leftovers instead of throwing them in the trash. 
  2. Use sustainable home goods at your table. You can also ask guests to bring their own containers or beeswax wrap in order to bring home leftovers (this might inspire them to get on the waste-reduction train, too). 
  3. Don’t throw away edible food. Compost your food scraps (fruit and vegetable peels, etc.) And immediately donate unopened and unused food items to the Lexington Food Pantry.

From LexZeroWaste 🙂 …

  1. Make a donation to LexZeroWaste! We hope you’ll choose this option as one of your three new zero waste actions this year. With your support, we can bring new programs to Lexington that will provide you with even more sustainable options next year.