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Zero Waste Holiday Planning: Your Guide To An Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

Zero Waste Holiday Planning: Your Guide To An Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again- the season of holiday planning is upon us. Whether you’ve committed to using plastic alternatives or you’re just beginning your zero waste journey, the holidays can be a challenging time to stick with your zero waste goals.  Luckily, sustainable holiday planning is becoming easier thanks to a push towards zero waste products such as compostable plates and reusable straws. With a little forethought and planning, throwing an eco-friendly Thanksgiving can be a breeze. Follow along with this holiday planning guide for some tips to keep your zero waste goals going strong this holiday season!

Get a head start on your holiday planning

Planning ahead might be the most important aspect of sustainable living. The holidays are no different. Taking the time to get your holiday planning done with some time to spare can ensure that you have time to think carefully about what you need to buy. This reduces trips to the store and limits the number of online orders you make.  All these simple steps can help reduce waste used to package and ship products. And holiday planning can save you from making unnecessary trips to the store. Last-minute holiday planning often ends with a desperate run to grab something quick. Decorations, drinks, or tableware are often last minute purchases. Planning ahead will allow time to choose zero waste options and plastic alternatives such as Veneerware® compostable plates. And to make things from scratch that you might usually buy in single-use containers. Bonus: with zero waste holiday planning done early, you’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones and enjoy the benefits of nature.

Choose reusable, zero waste decorations

Sure, the sparkles and glitter of holiday decorations are enticing. But there are plenty of ways to get festive during your holiday planning without harming the environment. Microplastics are commonly used in holiday decorations and cards. They're tiny pieces of plastic that are extremely harmful to the ocean. In some countries, there is a push for zero waste plastic alternatives to microplastics to be used in holiday decor. This is because of these detrimental effects.  This year, consider holiday decorations while looking for zero waste alternatives. Seasonal pillows, tablecloths, and towels made from natural materials are a great zero waste plastic alternative to other decorations. Got youngsters?  Create a challenge to make holiday decorations from what they can find.  Use leaves, pinecones, and other natural materials. If you’re really in need of something festive, shop secondhand at a local thrift or consignment store.  Choose reusable table decorations and plastic alternatives like compostable plates to keep your dinner table zero waste.

Make What You Can, Buy Local, and Go Organic

Nobody’s perfect! It might not be realistic to cook your entire Thanksgiving meal from scratch.  What you can do is find items you typically buy in packaging and make them yourself instead.  Some simple switches?  Make your own cranberry sauce with only three ingredients! Buy fresh cranberries in bulk. And bring your own produce bag to complete the zero waste switch out. Got a sweet tooth? Make your own pie crust instead of purchasing it pre-made. Look for organic products that don’t use harmful pesticides and chemicals in their growing process.  And last, look for local options when holiday planning.  This helps your neighbors out. It reduces the environmental impacts of shipping products before they get to you.  And what you’re buying is almost always fresher! When you’re out, don’t forget to pack reusable alternatives for plastic bags. If you have Thanksgiving leftovers, use plastic alternatives for food storage. 

Opt For Non-Toxic Cookware

What’s the point of organic produce if it gets cooked, stirred, and served with cookware that’s not safe or sustainable? A zero waste plastic alternative to bring into your festivities this season is non-toxic cookware. Look for bamboo products to replace plastic.  Swapping out plastic cookware for bamboo is a long-term zero waste solution. It keeps your cookware from clogging up landfills in the future. Use natural materials for your home whenever possible. This reduces the harmful processes used to make items from non-organic materials such as plastic or silicone. Plus, it keeps your loved ones safe from harmful chemicals that can leach in from other materials used for cookware.

Compostable Plates

Switch to Plastic Alternatives Such As Compostable Plates

We get it, holiday planning can be a lot to handle. Doing the dishes when you’d rather be spending time with friends and family isn’t exactly in the spirit of the holiday season. But throwaway dinnerware such as plastic plates or cups adds a lot of unnecessary waste to the holidays.  Luckily, eco-friendly plates such as compostable plates are a zero waste solution. Want to take something off your *plate* while still staying as close to zero waste as possible? Look at plastic alternatives such as compostable plates. Bambu’s Veneerware® compostable plates are made from Certified Organic Bamboo. They’re USDA certified as 100% biobased, meaning these planet friendly plates will completely biodegrade in 4-6 months. They'll biodegrade in 4-6 months. So you can enjoy a little more time with loved ones without sacrificing your zero waste goals.  Love to have a straw with your drink but don’t want the plastic?  Make the switch to plastic alternatives like bamboo straws.  Choosing eco friendly compostable plates and plastic alternatives to straws and cups is a great way to reduce your impact.

Practice Zero-Waste Gifting (And Receiving)

Many of us are farther from our loved ones than we’d like to be this year. Staying connected with gifts and cards might be a larger part of your holiday planning than usual. When searching, look for cards made sustainably with recycled materials or FSC Certified paper.  This will help you stay as close to zero waste as possible. If you’re shipping presents, check out biodegradable plastic alternatives for packaging. EcoEnclose uses recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable materials to make their solutions to plastic packaging.  Consider gifting eco-friendly goods and look for plastic free products. Make sure that you’re gifting something that will last your loved one. Or, share homemade gifts such as cookies, bread, or pies. Hand deliver your homemade goodies on a compostable plate. This will make the entire gift zero waste. On the receiving end, say no to unneeded holiday “goodies” such as small holiday trinkets or token items when you make a bigger purchase at a store.

Going entirely zero waste with your holiday planning this Thanksgiving might not work for you.  But incorporating some of these tips will put you on your way to a more eco-friendly holiday season! Even little steps, like switching to plastic alternatives like compostable plates, are a step in the right direction. Most importantly, make sure you take time to spend with your loved ones, whether that’s through a meal or a video call.

Bamboo Plates

Shop Veneerware® compostable plates to make your zero waste goals come true this holiday season.



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