Filling your house with loved ones is one of the greatest pleasures of the holiday season. The holidays are a time for family and friends. Parties abound, but so does an increase in waste production. Americans produce 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than any other period of the year. Good times do not need to be paired with poor environmental actions, and Marley’s Monsters has simple swaps that can transform your eco-footprint.
If you’re trying to go green, you might not know where to start. Organization and planning can help take the stress out of sustainable holidays. Think about how you currently entertain and then plan out doable substitutes that minimize waste. For example, at the end of every party, you might have a few black trash bags full of junk. What goes into those bags? Paper towels, wrapping paper, plastic packaging, and food. Some simple fixes can make for less waste. That’s good for the environment, but it also means no more lugging mounds of black bags. A double win, for sure.
Here are Some Fixes for Holiday Waste:
Redo the Gift Wrap
“Brown Paper Packages wrapped up in strings” is how the old song goes. Julie Andrews might have been onto something with her old tune. Gift wrap has incredible environment impact. If every American wrapped three less gifts a year, we’d save 45,000 football fields worth of paper. But, you might think you can’t do away with this age-old tradition. However, the tradition of using patterned wrapping paper isn’t all that old. In 1917, the Hall Brothers, who owned a stationary shop in Kansas City, ran out of the usual brown paper and put out patterned paper. The popularity of this switch spurred the industrious brothers to produce printed wrapping paper and Hallmark was born.
There are many ways to transform wrapped gifts into something more environmentally sound. You can reuse brown paper, newspaper, or a pretty scarf. But, as the success of Hallmark indicates, the season seems more jolly when you get a package festooned in holiday colors. If you choose to buy a roll, choose a wrapping paper that is recyclable and not full of plastic coating and glitter, or ditch paper completely and choose Marley’s Monsters Reusable Gift Wrap, which harnesses holiday happiness with different seasonal pattern options. Each bundle includes 3 Reusable Gift Wraps in a variety of coordinating colors/prints. Each wrap has generous lengths of twill tape anchored in the center for endless presentations. These durable flannel gift wraps can be used for many years without the guilt of tossing wrapping paper.
Handmade gifts are perfect for the person on your list who already has everything. Plus, your thoughtfulness will not add to already burdened landfills. Finding the right homemade gift might seem challenging, particularly if crafting isn’t your thing. Homemade foods, however, are easy to master. Plus they show you’ve put your time into your gift. Everyone knows time is the most precious commodity. Add a handwritten recipe, and the recipient will think of you every time they recreate that baked good.
What kind of baked goods work best? Bread is a great option because it’s a crowd-pleaser. Even the pickiest eater loves some crusty bread. Instead of wrapping paper, pack that loaf in a Marley’s Monsters’ Bread Bag. The seasonal patterns on the outside add a little extra jolly to the gift. Plus, these Bread Bags are an ideal substitute for plastic bags. Your loved one gets two gifts in one. Marley’s Monsters Bread Bags are long-lasting and effective. The bag's interior has a food-safe white PUL lining that protects moisture from leaking out.
Cookies are another delicious gift. Cookie recipes are usually easily doubled or tripled. Homemade cookies beat store-bought any day. Plus, you can individualize and specialize your cookies, so the recipient really feels the love. Pack up those sweet goodies in Marley’s Monsters Reuseable Snack Bags. These bags are made with cotton fabric and a food-safe PUL to keep your treats fresh. The holiday patterns make them ideal for gift-giving.
Switch from Trash Bags
Traditional trash bags need to be durable enough to make it from your kitchen to a dump, with a trip in a garbage truck added in. But, there is an environmental trade-off for this durability. Trash bags are made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels. While it would take centuries for the plastic to completely degrade, as the bags begin to rip, microplastics enter the water cycle. Trash bags also cause the items within to take longer to break down in landfills. Whenever possible, ditch the non-biodegradable plastic bag.
The first step in changing from plastic trash bags is to decrease the waste you produce. As you plan your party, think out each of your options. Sometimes planning is all that is needed to save money and waste. For example, set up a dishpan with warm soapy water beside the compost bucket before the party starts. Guests can scrape the used dishes before dropping them in the dishpan. You won’t be left with piles of filthy dishes or bags full of used paper plates. Plus, when you compost, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much less trash is created. Composting also counteracts the negative impact of food waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste is the single biggest category of waste sent to landfills, which in turn emits 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (million MTCO2e) GHG emissions (excluding landfill emissions) – equal to the annual CO2 emissions of 42 coal-fired power plants.
Once you’ve found more sustainable switches, you still need to gather recyclables and your Marley’s Monsters reusable products. The Marley’s Monsters Washable Pail Liners are the ideal way to wrangle all your holiday messes. These Pail Liners are water-resistant, washable, and reusable. They’re flexible, thanks to the drawstring, to fit a variant of bins. Depending on local regulations for how trash and recycling should be bagged in your area, you can use the small liners to sort trash, then collect it into one large garbage bag until full. This reduces the number of overall plastic bag usage.
Ditch the Disposable Napkins and Paper Towels
Rethink using disposable napkins. The ubiquitous paper towel is a big problem for the environment. Why? First, Americans consume paper towels in vast quantities. According to the Paperless Project, in the U.S., we currently use more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year, and that number is steadily increasing. This means that every single day more than 3,000 tons of paper towels are wasted in the U.S. alone.
Marley’s Monsters UNpaper® Towels is a long-lived substitute for paper towels. Paper towels waste trees, water, and landfill space, not to mention money. In the long-run, UNpaper® Towels are both economical and environmentally friendly. Marley’s Monsters durable UNpaper® Towels are far from drab. Marley’s Monsters has a variety of holiday-themed patterns. There is something for everyone’s holiday decor, from fun and funky to classic. Plus, there will be no guilt with keeping yourself tidy during meals.