Sustainability has become an essential consideration for many people, extending into many areas of life. Mass production has become rampant, throwing sustainability out the window in many industries. This can make it challenging for those who want to practice sustainability throughout the holidays, especially since waste skyrockets this time of year.
Between Halloween costumes, gift wrapping, and family meals, it can be easy for waste to accumulate. Fortunately, there are many great methods and options to practice sustainability.
Continue reading below for some tips for prioritizing sustainability during the holidays.
What Does Sustainable Mean?
Before jumping into the tips, let's look at the sustainable definition. According to the UCLA Sustainability Committee, sustainability means “the integration of environmental health, social equity, and economic vitality to create thriving, healthy, diverse, and resilient communities for this generation and generations to come.”
In other words, sustainability means understanding that resources are finite and opting for methods and products that consider the long-term.
DIY Costumes Improve Sustainability for Halloween
Halloween costume manufacturers are a significant culprit in unsustainable clothing. Many costumes are made quickly out of cheap materials that fall apart, just to be thrown out when the holiday is over.
Instead, Halloween costumes can be thrifted or made right at home with sustainable materials. Numerous items can be repurposed into amazing Halloween costumes, including boxes, clothing, bedsheets, or old decorations. Families can also costume swap with friends and relatives.
How to Make Holiday Meals More Sustainable
Another area of prominent waste during the holidays is in the frequent meals. This is the time of year when families are gathering, putting together large meals, and using a lot of dishes and silverware. Unfortunately, the large crowds make some people opt for disposable options for easier cleanup, which is also extra waste.
There are a few suggestions to make holiday meals more sustainable, including:
- Source food from local farmers or markets
- Start a compost pile to dispose of uneaten foods
- Dine with reusable silverware and cloth napkins
- Store leftovers in washable glass containers over plastic options
Shop for Sustainable Fashion Gifts
Those shopping for clothes to wear for the holidays or gifts can opt for sustainable fashion items. Unfortunately, many clothing items in stores or online are made from unsustainable materials or a product of fash fashion.
When these items are no longer wearable, they are often just disposed of, which creates more waste. Instead, shop for sustainable fashion items, such as our bamboo clothing lines here at Not Labeled.
Change Up Your Whole Gifting Game
Gifts are one of the largest culprits in creating unsustainable holidays. Between unsustainable materials, disposable wrapping, plastic, and more, gifts become a massive source of waste.
However, there are some methods to decrease the amount of waste from gifts, including:
- Shopping at thrift stores
- Shopping online from sustainable manufacturers and brands
- Gifting experiences instead of products
- Opting for quality gifts over quantity