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Eco-friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Holiday Season

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

“Peace on earth and good tidings for the ocean and land”


Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year, or any other holiday during the wintery months of late November through early January, many are aware of how along with gifts, many extra things get accumulated during this season. According to data collected from Stanford University (shorturl.at/dqvI8), Americans create 25% more trash during the winter holidays than at any other time of year!


The extra trash comes from many things— the one-time-use wrapping paper, the packaging from all the holiday goodies, the excess plastic cutlery and paper plates used once for dinners and put in the trash, disposable decorations, wrapping, and holiday cards— the list goes on.


Although it isnʻt the most “jolly” topic to discuss during the most wonderful time of the year, don't fret. There are many, just as wonderful, solutions you can try to reduce waste this holiday season!


We laid out a few eco-friendly holiday solutions you can try below:


Use reusable dinnerware over disposables

A diagram of items to use over the holiday season

It can be tempting to buy paper plates, plastic cups, paper napkins, and plastic cutlery when the whole family is coming over and you want to save time on dishes at the end of the night. But when you consider the money you save, and the impact you have on holiday clutter— the extra 30 minutes of dishes becomes a bit more reasonable. Instead of using disposable dinnerware this year, use washable dishes!


Give gift cards or handmade gifts as presents


It is estimated that every holiday season, 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold in the US, according to the National Environmental Education Foundation (shorturl.at/eyPZ8). Instead of sending holiday cards, making home-baked goods such as peppermint bark, banana bread, cookies, homemade jams or simply giving gift cards are meaningful ways to show your love this season without creating extra waste.

Holiday peppermint bark


Wrap your gifts with creative things you find around the house


Earth911 estimates that 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper end up in landfills yearly. Getting creative when wrapping presents and reusing old gift wrap/bags or using things like colorful magazine paper, comics from the newspaper or cloth with fun greenery as an accent can be a great way to save from creating unnecessary trash during the holidays.


Use handmade holiday decor with everyday household items


The isles are stocked floor to ceiling in every grocery store you enter with decor galore during the holiday season. Avoiding the temptation to buy decor can be difficult but there are many ways to creatively and sustainably make holiday decor with everyday household items, instead! Things like origami stars, dried citrus garland, popcorn tree garland, or mason jar tea light centerpieces can be great alternatives & far more eco-friendly!


Lastly, while celebrating your day, always remember to reduce, reuse & recycle!

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Happy Holiday season from Cruz Foam

If you celebrate Christmas and chop down a Christmas tree each year, there are many ways to get creative when disposing of your tree after the season is over. According to the Arbor Day Foundation (shorturl.at/ijpE5) things like using your tree as mulch, chopping the tree up and using it for firewood, or using it to make homemade coasters are all great ways to make the most out of your tree instead of putting it straight into the trash!


Have a happy & sustainable holiday season from Cruz Foam!



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