Sometimes the holiday season can feel like our values have been suspended between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day-- instead of being healthy and thankful for what we have in life, there is overindulgence and excess. On average, 25% more waste is generated during the holidays, and 33% more food is thrown out. In a 2013 study the Pew Research Group found that 36% of people surveyed felt stressed out and 23% felt wasteful. Looking for ways to live your values during the holiday period? Here’s a few tips and tricks.

Reduce waste

  • Cooking for a large group of people can leave you swimming in leftovers. Remember to freeze and label your leftovers, or send them home with your guests in a reusable or recyclable container.
  • Rent a potted tree or at least buy a real tree. The average artificial tree uses three times as many resources as buying a new live tree every year.
  • Reuse cards from last year to make Christmas ‘postcards’, or labels for presents. Here’s a nifty post about putting old Christmas cards to use.

Reduce Stress

  • Holidays can be a stressful time, check out local groups, activities, and classes if the winter darkness is starting to get to you.
  • Essential oils and candles can bring calm to your home. Check out these recipes.

Give Experiences

  • Giving gift cards or cash towards an interesting experience means no waste, and really very little chance of the gift sitting in someone’s attic taking up space.
  • Mason jar recipes are a cute experience to give.
  • Give a craft kit of repurposed items.
  • Go zero waste or give Sustainable items like reusable coffee mug or water bottles.