Watching Your Holiday “Wasteline”

December 18, 2012 at 10:59 am 1 comment

The holiday season is in full swing, but if you feel as though you’re buying too many gifts, eating too much food, or using too much energy, don’t worry; there’s still time to trim down your waste while having a joyous season. Just follow our guide to reducing your holiday “wasteline.”

Reducing Food Waste

Given the many celebratory meals that take place during the holidays, overcooking is extremely common. Cooks don’t want to run out of food or leave their guests without as many options as possible, but there are some easy steps you can take to make your meal less wasteful and just as delicious:

  1. Plan ahead. Use a perfect portions planner, such as the one found on You can find out exactly how much to cook for the number of guests you have.
  2. Use sustainable food for you meals. Check out to find local and sustainable food.
  3. Use leftovers in the best way possible. Find food storage guides and make new meals out of your leftovers, such as casseroles, soups, and pasta dishes. You can also donate your leftovers to your local food bank. Find yours at
  4. Compost your food scraps. Composting is great for gardens and makes use of leftover food, rather than having it hauled away to the dump.

Reducing Holiday Driving

Source: New York Times

Lowering the amount of your driving during the holiday season can be especially difficult because of family get-togethers and other celebrations. However, there are ways you can cut back on your driving for both short and long distances.

  1. Shop online instead of driving somewhere to buy gifts. As an added bonus, you get to skip the long holiday lines and compare prices instantly. Watch for online deals to avoid shipping costs and take advantage of Cyber Monday, an online equivalent to Black Friday.
  2. Try to combine multiple errands into one trip so that your driving time decreases.
  3. Carpool or use the airport shuttle to get to your flight. Not only do these options help you drive less, but you also save money.
  4. Consider taking a bus or train to your destination. It will save you the hassle of driving.

Reducing Holiday Energy Use

Christmas tree lights and lighting displays are some of the most festive parts of the holiday, but there are ways to reduce your environmental impact while still creating beautiful decorations.

  1. Consider using a smaller outdoor lighting display. It will look just as pretty, but use far less energy.
  2. Use a timer system to turn off your display at night when everyone is asleep.
  3. Give LED lights a try. They use 80-90% less energy than traditional lights and will cost you far less money in the long run.

Reducing Holiday Gift Waste

Give “green” gifts. Purchase locally made gifts to lower the transportation pollution and costs associated with the item.  Dane Buy Local and have great local gift resources.

  1. Give “green” gifts. Purchase locally made gifts to lower the transportation pollution and costs associated with the item.  Dane Buy Local and have great local gift resources.
  2. Buy gifts that are services, rather than material goods. Give the gift of a massage, restaurant gift certificate, concert tickets, lessons or classes, or passes to favorite fitness classes.
  3. Use alternative gift wrap instead of purchasing special wrapping paper. Some ideas include old maps, paper bags, old calendars, or crepe paper. You can also make your gift tags out of recycled paper, old holiday cards or magazine scraps.

Source: Chickabug

Hopefully I’ve given you some easy ways to waste less this holiday season. Even if you just choose one of these tips to cut back on your holiday consumption this year, you’re taking steps toward a more sustainable holiday season.


EnAct Intern, Grace


Entry filed under: other.

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1 Comment Add your own

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