Low-Waste Holiday Season? It’s Easier Than You Think!

Lise Olney


Bring on the bells and the bustle—the holiday season is here! As we rush to prepare, we sometimes reach for what seems most convenient rather than what is more sustainable. Thanks to Sustainable Wellesley member Kelly Caiazzo, we have a handy guide with low-waste gift ideas and resources that will give your family and friends simple ways to reduce their waste — all year long.

Click here for the Sustainable Wellesley Holiday Gift Guide with ideas for reusable gifts that keep on giving! 

My own family has been working to reduce our waste all year. In October, we fit all our landfill waste into one tiny paper bag! Here are some of the ways we plan to reduce our waste over the holidays:

– Eliminate “disposables:” We have stocked up on inexpensive cloth napkins, glassware, ceramic plates, and flatware for parties—eliminating all disposables. Overnight houseguests get their own reusable bags, reusable coffee cups, and bamboo utensils so they don’t bring “to-go” trash back to the house.

– Wrap with reusables: There are many easy ways to wrap gifts — beautifully — without using wrapping paper and ribbon! We have cloth gift bags that we’ve been reusing for years and Kelly Caiazzo has introduced us to the Japanese style of tying cloth around gifts of all shapes and sizes. Click here for a video demo.

– Shop in the bulk food section and avoid plastic and non-recyclable packaging: Buying in the bulk section eliminates a lot of packaging. We avoid products that have “hidden” packaging that can’t be recycled — such as crackers with a plastic pouch inside. (Wasa brand crackers are packaged entirely in recyclable paper.)

– Manage food waste: We are participating in the food waste program at the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility so we have eliminated all food waste from our landfill trash. (Thanks, RDF!)

Please send us YOUR favorite tips for reducing waste and we will include them in a Sustainable Wellesley update: info@sustainablewellesley.com.

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Lise Olney
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