Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.
Did you understand that turkey day is definitely a really trashy day? Studies have proven that yearly, Americans throw away 25% extra trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than another time of yr. Too a lot plastic is needlessly bought for the vacations. But it doesn’t must be that means.
Let’s carry on the vacation cheer this yr (sure, even in a pandemic) and put the brakes on utilizing and discarding plastic. After all, why pay cash for plastic packaging that’s destined for disposal when it can save you cash and our planet by choosing biodegradable options and reusables as an alternative?
With some forethought, it’s simple to rejoice the vacations elegantly and with out plastic waste. My new e-book, Say Goodbye To Plastic: A Survival Guide To Plastic-Free Living, is packed stuffed with suggestions to assist newcomers to the plastic-free life-style and encourage practiced veterans to proceed to dramatically scale back their vacation waste print.
Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving with fast household or internet hosting a gathering, listed below are some suggestions from my e-book that can assist you kick off the vacation season joyfully and with a lot much less plastic.
Put It within the Invitation
Set your self up for fulfillment by being sincere. Let individuals know it is a plastic-free Thanksgiving celebration. If you want them to carry their very own reusable containers, ask them upfront. If it’s a potluck, request gadgets in reusable containers as an alternative of plastic throwaways.
Don’t anticipate individuals to share your values with none discover. Making an announcement is a simple solution to invite participation and set the stage for dramatic plastic and waste discount.
Once November rolls round, the grocery retailer transforms right into a minefield of stressed-out consumers, extra-long traces, and waste, waste, waste. Make your subsequent buying journey comparatively painless and waste-free with some cautious planning forward.
The common American throws away 185 kilos of plastic yearly. Just do not forget that what goes in, goes out on the subject of plastic packaging you carry into your property. If you don’t carry it residence, you received’t must discard it! So as you store, pay shut consideration to the meals you’re shopping for and the plastic packaging you’re avoiding by buying in bulk in reusable containers as a lot as attainable.
BYO Bag During a Pandemic
During COVID-19 instances, typically it’s tough to even carry your individual bag due to contamination fears. No worries, simply request the checker to place your groceries again in your cart and you may bag your individual gadgets in a reusable bag at your automobile as you load to go residence. Some groceries in California have arrange bag-your-own tables exterior the entrance of the shop to allow waste-free consumers to proceed to say no to single-use grocery luggage.
I hate to burst your bubble however balloons and their strings can entangle, choke, and kill marine life and other animals when misplaced within the setting. Some balloons are product of latex, which is taken into account a biodegradable materials, but it surely takes months or years for the rubber to interrupt down and till then, it’s hazardous to wildlife.
I’ve foregone disposable streamers comprised of plastic or throw-away paper for festive, reusable artisan banners made out of cotton pennants with designs and phrases. Decorating with found items in nature, whether or not it’s roadside wildflowers or autumn leaves, is a beautiful solution to carry the season into your property.
Ask for Help
Once everybody arrives, you can too make a brief announcement about what you’re doing and why. Ask your company for his or her assist in reaching your objective of a plastic-free get together. Let them know the place the compost and recycling bins are positioned. Invite individuals to make themselves at residence and use your kitchen sink if they’ve reusable serving platters or different gadgets they’ve introduced that want a fast wash-up earlier than being toted residence.
Build Your Stash
If you throw lots of events and you’ve got the space for storing, it’s price investing in sufficient dishes, glasses, and utensils on your events so that you by no means must resort to single-use plastic gadgets. Put out a name for gadgets from individuals in your neighborhood on-line bulletin board or buy used gadgets at your native thrift retailer.
For very giant occasions and when reusables will not be sensible, go for licensed compostable choices, like bamboo plates with out plastic lacquers. Paper plates coated with waterproof plastic will not be compostable or recyclable, so don’t let the phrase “paper” on the packaging idiot you.
Everyone is obsessive about glowing water nowadays — and which means far more plastic bottle waste. Is somewhat little bit of the bubbly really price it?
If you’re not geared up to make glowing water at residence (see the Kitchen chapter in “Say Goodbye To Plastic” for how-to choices), skip it and all the opposite individually packaged drinks! That’s proper, I stated skip the glowing water. Serve filtered faucet water with lemon, mint, cucumbers, or any number of herbs and fruit as an alternative!
I’ve picked up a few glass drink dispensers with spigots that sit facet by facet on a metallic stand. I often make iced tea with plastic-free tea luggage for one facet and one thing else like infused water or lemonade for the opposite.
Ready for a buzzkill? Finding a candle that’s not offered in plastic packaging could be powerful. Plus, paraffin candles could look harmless, however inside their tender, romantic glow they comprise petroleum and infrequently unhealthy fragrances.
Paraffin is a petroleum-derived product, like plastic. Combine the off-gassing of the burning petroleum wax with artificial fragrances and also you’ve bought a poisonous mixture. Beeswax candles are right here to save lots of the day. They burn with virtually no smoke or scent and clear the air by releasing detrimental ions into the air.
If you don’t have sufficient of your individual reusable dinner provides but, you’ll be able to all the time ask your company to affix in on the plastic-free enjoyable by bringing their very own. When I first began throwing plastic-free events, I might ask individuals to carry their very own utensils and cups. The upside: Everyone washed their very own dishes earlier than taking them again residence so I didn’t must!
Hide the Trash Can
I prefer to solely have labeled bins for recyclables and compost gadgets out throughout events — no landfill! It’s a reasonably good trick to slyly transfer company into the course of reusable and compostable gadgets.
You Can’t Control Everything
Inevitably, some individuals are going to carry stuff that turns into trash. When a visitor exhibits up with a plastic platter of veggies simply smile and say thanks. It is likely to be onerous to chew your tongue however select to steer by instance as an alternative. Don’t chase them out with a snarky angle or academic criticism; invite them warmly into your plastic-free life-style.
About the Author
Sandra Ann Harris is the founder and president of ECOlunchbox, a mission-based client merchandise firm. She’s the creator of “Say Goodbye To Plastic: A Survival Guide For Plastic-Free Living,” offered in hardback at ECOlunchboxes and in Kindle on Amazon. Her ardour is defending the oceans by serving to individuals scale back their dependence on plastics.
This article was initially printed on November 16, 2020.
You Might Also Like…