How to Combat Holiday Waste

Picture this with me for a moment…

It’s Christmas afternoon…

Gifts have been opened. Wrapping paper fills extra large trash bags. Tissue paper lies crumpled and strewn about. Gift bags have been ripped open. Wrapping supplies you picked up about a month ago have been torn through in a matter of minutes.

The reality is that the holidays, despite their unwavering joy, produce a ton of waste, tons actually.

So the question is…

Is It Worth It?

It’s no secret that humans as a whole are wasteful. When it comes to the holiday season, we often look for wrapping supplies and decor that are quick and easy and cute to have a perfectly curated tree and spirited home. But is our Earth paying the price for our actions? Consider the following when planning for the holiday season:

  • Household waste increases about 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (CDC)
    • How many bags of wrapping paper are you tossing each year?
  • Plastics take generations to biodegrade in landfills (EPA)
    • How many boxes of plastic cutlery have you gone through?
  • Artificial trees create about 88 pounds of CO2e per tree (
    • How frequently are you throwing out your artificial Christmas trees?

Now, I’m not suggesting you opt out of all of your favorite wrapping papers and decor. I’m just recommending that you don’t let yourself run wild at the party store. There are sustainable alternatives for almost anything you might want in your holiday party. It’s not a bad idea to take a look at what might pique your interest!

Tips for holiday sustainability:

  • Nix your non-recyclable wrapping paper (stay away from glitter wrapping paper!)
  • Put gift in bags with tissue paper instead of taped close to increase reusability
  • Even better – use cloth or old newspapers to wrap gifts
  • Carpool to Christmas light displays
  • Use washable dishes for meals (you can ask each guest to rinse their dish!)
  • Take care of your decor from year to year to maximize reusability
  • Rent a living Christmas tree (you can decorate it and then later donate it to be planted!)

There are a lot of sustainable alternatives when it comes to creating your ideal holiday atmosphere. BUT – I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. You don’t have to throw all of your holiday traditions out the window. Start small. Any step toward sustainability is a step in the right direction. Start with one sustainable alternative, and then gradually make changes as you continue to master your sustainable skills. Plus, the fewer single-use items you use, the less you have to throw out!

You’ve got this! ‘Tis the season for sustainability, and I’m proud of you for taking small sustainable steps.


We Help You Make Magic at the Holidays

We are rooted in sustainability. At Social Greenery, we aim to put a bit of green back into the world by bringing sustainable celebrations to you. We offer living, potted Christmas tree rentals for winter celebrations and succulent potting kits and bars for weddings and special events. If you’re ready to opt for sustainable solutions, we’ve got your back!

You might also enjoy