The holiday season is one of the most wasteful times during the year. We overconsume from food to gifts, and in the spirit of celebrating the season, we burn through energy by lighting the inside and outside of our homes.
But what happens when we don't eat all the food we made? Or when we wrap our gifts with virgin wrapping paper that isn't recyclable (which the majority of it is not, surprisingly!) Or when we burn through strings of lights? Then what happens?
We don't always think about the lifetime of any one item or product that we purchase, make, or use. But in a throw-away society, it's more and more important that we understand what happens once we're "done" with something.
The best question to ask yourself before buying or making anything to gift or decorate or eat: can this be consumed or composted? Over time, the answer more and more should be yes.
So in the spirit of always seeking a more mindful way to live, I wanted to share some tips on how to decorate and gift during the holidays in a low-waste way so you still feel festive - without all the waste.
- A bowl of apples on your dining room table... then turn that into pie or food for backyard wildlife. At the very least, eat or compost rather than throw away.
- A small bowl of acorns or pinecones to add a warm touch to your space, then compost or return to where they were collected.
- A small bowl of cinnamon sticks throughout your home for an aromatic experience -- then add to a hot toddy or compost.
- Use beeswax votives and candles for visual warmth over string lights.
- Mindfully harvest small fir, cedar, or pine branches and create your own wreath and indoor decorations. Take just what you need.
- Heading out to shop? Bring reusable bags instead of taking the shop's bags. Say no to the free samples while you're at it.
- Use recycled paper bags and kraft paper to wrap your gifts.
- Feeling fancy? Wrap your gifts with cloth, getting inspiration from the Japanese Furoshiki. Or, use kraft paper and draw on the sides.
- Host a white elephant party. Everyone goes home with less gifts and usually the gifts are more practical because they need to benefit anyone who receives them. Think: knife sets, metal reusable straws, wooden cutting boards, reusable bags, etc.
- Think zero waste or low waste gifts: reusable water bottle and coffee mugs, compost bins, stainless or glass storage containers, CSA subscriptions, cloth produce bags.
- Gift experiences over things. Check Groupon and Living Social for ideas.
What are some ways that you lower your waste footprint?
At Lagom Body Co., all our products are housed in glass jars and bottles. Yes, it costs more than plastic. Yes, it costs more to ship. Yes, glass is extremely heavy.
But, glass is easily recyclable (especially clear glass, like what we use!) and it's safer for housing personal care products.
And! Once you're done with our all-natural products, you now have a perfectly good jar or bottle to reuse for your own projects... from personal care to small plant pots.