We are truly blessed here in the U.S. We enjoy a very high standard of living compared to many other countries. Fortunately, that high standard of living is a temptation to be wasteful. And with the holiday season approaching, the amount we waste is likely to go up. Here's an idea: can we all agree to do our best to reduce holiday waste this time around?
Reducing holiday waste is not hard in principle. Practice might be another ballgame. But if everyone put forth the effort to reduce waste just a little, the effects would be profound. We think it's worth trying. Even if it were just Paleblue Earth and our loyal customers committing to reducing waste, it would make a difference.
As the 2021 holiday season approaches, here are five helpful tips for reducing holiday waste:
1. Use Rechargeable Batteries
We start with the rechargeable battery principle, not because we think it is most important, but because batteries are what we do. Paleblue Earth specializes in USB rechargeable batteries based on lithium-ion technology. Of course we would recommend eliminating holiday waste by using rechargeable batteries instead of single-use alkalines.
The world throws away billions of alkaline batteries every year. That is a lot of waste. Meanwhile, you are going to use batteries yourself during the holiday season. You might even be buying batteries to go with some of the gifts you plan to give. The easiest way to reduce waste in this arena is to go with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries instead of single-use products.
2. Shop Using a List
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that about 40% of all the food Americans purchase never gets eaten. Furthermore, they suggest that some of the food waste we produce could be limited if we did our grocery shopping with a list.
Rather than heading to the store and buying whatever appeals to you at the moment, plan your meals in advance and buy only what you need. Also plan for the number of people you will be feeding. If you know exactly what you need and you stick to buying just that, the risk of throwing away uneaten food goes down.
3. Plan to Recycle Food
Next up, plan your meals with a goal of recycling food. For instance, any leftover hash browns from the morning's breakfast can be added to fresh mashed potatoes for supper. Leftover turkey is obviously a gold mine for delicious sandwiches. Whatever you do, don't just store the leftovers in the fridge for three weeks then throw them out.
Composting always makes sense or if you or a neighbor has backyard chickens, they are a great option for putting food scraps to good use.
4. Get to Know Your Freezer
Your freezer is a great tool for recycling leftover food. Most things you would serve for a holiday dinner can be safely frozen for later consumption. Rather than throwing away all the food, freeze it and reuse for additional meals down the road. Just pull something out of the freezer, thaw it, and pop it in the microwave. You get a quick meal, and you throw away less food.
5. Forget About the Wrapping Paper
Single-use wrapping paper makes about as much sense as single-use batteries. We recommend you either forget about the wrapping paper or convince family members and friends to be careful about opening their gifts so that you can reuse it. For the record, reusable gift bags are a fantastic wrapping paper alternative.
The holiday season is a great time for making lifelong memories with family and friends. It shouldn't be a time of waste. We wish you a great holiday season and encourage you to do your best to reduce waste this holiday season.