The Holidays Are a Time of Excess. Here Are a Few Tips to Reduce Holiday Waste.

The holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to start planning! Travel, gifts, and of course, food! The last few months of the year are also a time of excess in the best way, but that excess can also have some negative effects. Americans toss 25% more trash during the holidays than during the rest of the year. Packaging and wrapping paper are part of the extra materials that often end up in landfills. We’re sharing some tips to help you be conscious of your holiday waste and take steps to reduce what you’re throwing away.

GiftsStacked Presents

  • Try giving something completely consumable like baked goods instead of giving an item that’s low quality that will probably end up being tossed. Some other ideas are a functional gift like a candle, an experience (tickets), or a gift card that can be used for future purchases of needs.
  • Get gift receipts for the items you give to others. If someone doesn’t like or doesn’t think they’ll use their gift, they can exchange it for something they love instead of throwing it away.
  • Shop used! See if you can keep an item out of a landfill by finding a unique piece for your loved ones in an antique store, a thrift store, or a resell establishment.
  • Collaborate with others to give loved ones a single gift instead of several small ones.
  • Donate gently used clothing and toys to local charities and gift-giving organizations working with underserved communities.
  • Bring your reusable bags when you’re out shopping instead of accumulating single-use plastic bags.


  • Make gift tags out of paper shopping bags or cardboard boxes.
  • Use organic string or twine that can be composted vs. plastic ribbon that often blows into oceans and waterways.
  • Upcycle your wrapping paper cardboard tubes into fun games or toys for your kids, or use them to store posters and artwork. Of course, they can also be recycled!
  • Opt out of buying wrapping paper altogether and make your own. Use paper shopping bags, newspapers, or packing paper from online orders to wrap your gifts. Reuse the boxes from your online orders, too! You can personalize them with paint or by coloring them!
  • Use Christmas theme fabric and ribbon as a fun gift-wrapping option that you can reuse every year.


  • Make your own holiday decorations. Collect greenery and pinecones or string popcorn and cranberries with family and friends. Oranges can be sliced and dried with cinnamon and turned into ornaments. All of these options can be composted at the end of the holidays.
  • Fresh Christmas trees can be tricky, so get a potted tree you can plant in your yard, or find a program that picks up your trees at the end of the holidays. Many scout troops collect Christmas trees to be turned into wood chips and mulch for parks and playgrounds.
  • Artificial trees have improved greatly in quality in recent years and are an eco-friendly option. Opt for a durable tree that will last you a long time.

Holiday Cheers people raising a toastHoliday Parties

  • When hosting parties, avoid using single-use plastic. Borrow dishes and silverware if you have to or do a bring-your-own-plate style dinner. Assemble a clean-up team to make the end-of-the-night pick up a breeze.
  • If you are in a jam and need to use disposable plates, try eco-friendly ones that can be composted when the party is over.
  • Replace paper napkins with reusable cloth napkins or compostable napkins. Try thrifting tablecloths for festive decor; if they get stained while being used, you can cut them up into rags or fabric strips for crafting.
  • Make meal plans to avoid food waste and send people home with leftovers. If you have to throw food away, compost it (do not compost meat, bones or dairy) instead of putting it straight into the garbage.
  • Instead of buying packaged treats from the store, buy bulk ingredients and make your own. It can be a fun activity for friends or family to do together and will save you money!
  • Reduce the amount of holiday-themed clothing you buy. Try buying a few items you can dress up in different ways throughout the years; ties and jewelry are popular, versatile items. Shop second-hand items and donate them when you are done.

Polly Products: For the Holidays and All Year Long

Polly Products is committed to our green promise throughout the holiday season and beyond. We believe in sustainability and keeping as much out of our landfills as possible. That’s why our products are made out of 100% recycled materials and are incredibly durable. We want you to enjoy our products for a lifetime. Our outdoor furniture could be the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season, and will be giftable to the next generation. Click here to see our products and personal engraving options or call us at 877-609-2243 today!

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