Sustainable Holiday Tips
Reduce your environmental impact during the holidays with some helpful tips.
Buy only what you need
Calculate how much food you'll need for your guests with Save The Food's Guestimator.
Plan ahead to save water
With a little planning, you can save a lot of water when cooking holiday meals.
- Defrost your holiday roast in the refrigerator rather than cold water and save 50 gallons of water! To thaw your turkey, allow about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.
- Swap a bowl of water for the running tap when rinsing fruits and vegetables. Then use it to water plants.
Use your organics container instead of the garbage disposal for food scraps. Not only are you helping to turn food scraps into compost, but putting fats, oils, or grease down the drain can cause expensive sewer backups. Learn what to do with fats, oils, and grease instead.
Most new dishwashers don’t require pre-rinsing dishes. Instead, save water by placing them right in and waiting for a full load to run. If you have to hand wash dishes, plug the drain and fill your sink with soapy water.
Use your leftovers
Use your leftovers to cut down on food waste.
Give your loved ones the gift of a fun experience. Try tickets to a game or show, look for upcoming cooking, art, music, or fitness classes, book a spot on a tour (anything from kayaking to chocolate factory tours), donate to a cause close to their heart, or give a membership to a local business or organization.
Give the gift of waste reduction
Look for gifts that help your loved ones reduce waste. From reusable food wraps and storage containers to bamboo toothbrushes, the options are endless.
Wrap up the holidays
Get creative with your gift wrap this year! Old maps, posters, calendars, sheet music, paper shopping bags, and newspaper make great repurposed wrapping paper.
You can also try Japanese cloth wraps called furoshiki. Furoshiki, both a style of gift wrap and traditional Japanese wrapping cloth, can be made from fabric squares from old textiles or made new and reused for years to come.
If you'd rather go classic, look for gift wrap without foil or glitter so it can be recycled later. Check out the Know Where It Goes tab for more recycling tips.
Did you know Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day? Make sure your waste goes to the right place.
Recycle wrapping paper right with Recology’s gift wrap guide.
Special Item Recycling
Recology customers can visit The Recology Store or schedule curbside collection of Styrofoam, household batteries, old bikes and bike parts, small appliances and electronics, cooking oil and kitchen grease, textiles, and more.
Holiday lights can be recycled at locations throughout King County.
Consider buying a live tree and planting it outside after the holidays. Once in the ground, the tree adds value to your landscape and helps soak up excess rainwater.
Compost your Tree
If you have a cut tree, compost it when the holidays are over. Recology offers curbside tree collection for residential customers. Find out requirements.