Sustainability during the Holidays

Sustainability during the Holidays


12/19/2023 | Angela Whitlock, CSRA

The big day is drawing closer, and many gather around this time of year for family meals. 

But what do family meals have to do with sustainability? 

Well, not only is food waste at an all-time high this year, but we also use a lot of disposable aluminum trays and disposable plastic for transporting dishes to other people's homes.

So what can we do to make sure we are doing our part in throwing away less during the holiday season? 

Below are some ideas:

1. Reuse your disposable foil pans. Surprisingly, these can be reused and also recycled. Check out this link for more instructions. This is the easiest option because it is the least different from what most people are used to, however, the process for both reusing and recycling them is a bit time consuming, and often when these trays are used it is for the convenience of not having to take the item home. While the host can also save and reuse these trays, they may default to throwing it out for the sake of an easy and quick clean-up. 

2. Go thrifting for non-disposable containers and do not expect the item back from the host. The best time to do this is actually at the beginning of the year, since people are more likely to organize and purge at this time. However, you can still find glass baking dishes, holiday serving containers, and holiday tin cookie trays at thrift stores during the holiday season. To learn more about how to thrift efficiently, check out this link. Putting treats in a tin makes the item feel more like a gift. Using a thrifted baking dish to bring your holiday food over to other people's home allows the item to stay warm longer, and relieves you and the host of added stress in trying to return the item. It may also be fun to have a small collection of this bakeware circulating among friends and family. 

What are some ways that you help to reduce food and food container waste during this season? Share your ideas below!