Before you start "partying," check out our previous Zero Waste Holidays tips on holiday cards
, holiday lights
, and Christmas trees
. North Americans produce 25% more waste during the winter holidays - that's 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill. The Whole Foods Market Green Mission Team has gathered our favorite tips to feature on this blog throughout the holidays to help us all reduce our load. Our customers are some of the greenest folks around, so please share your tips with us too. Hopefully we'll help each other discover new and creative ways to live lighter on the planet this holiday season.
At least 28 billion pounds of edible food are sent to the landfill each year. That's simply criminal, folks. Green those holiday parties and make them zero waste in more ways than one! Don't forget, set a good example for your guests and they may take some of your green ideas home with them.
- Send e-cards instead of paper invitations.
- Rent dishes or glassware to avoid using disposables.
- Or, go with compostable disposables.
- Cook with natural and organic ingredients and support local farmers and food artisans. Spread the word to your guests and don't be shy about telling them how you did it!
- Turn down the heat before the guests arrive. The extra body heat will heat the room while you save energy.
- Recycle and compost everything you can! Set up recycling bins for bottles and cans. If composting is available in your area, put out a bin for compostables too!
- Walk, carpool or take the bus to neighborhood parties.
- Keep an eye on the buffet table and make sure nothing sits out longer than two hours - you don't want to throw out food that's no longer safe to eat.
- Pack leftovers to go for your guests. You can start a trend! Make sure no food goes to waste.
Now, it's your turn. What are you doing to make your holiday parties and gatherings as green as can be?