Reducing Holiday Waste: Tips for a More Sustainable Season

Oct 25, 2023

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The holiday season is a time for merriment, celebration, and coming together with loved ones. However, it’s also a time when our trash cans seem to overflow with waste. Excessive packaging, discarded decorations, and food scraps all contribute to holiday waste. At Infinite Disposal, we are committed to promoting sustainability and responsible waste management in Colorado Springs, CO, and beyond. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical ways to minimize trash and reduce waste during the holiday season, including eco-friendly gift wrapping, DIY decorations, and sustainable gift ideas.

The Holiday Waste Problem

Before diving into solutions, let’s understand the scale of the problem. The holiday season, while joyous, generates an astonishing amount of waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, household waste increases by about 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This surge is attributed to a variety of factors, including excessive packaging, food waste, and the disposal of decorations.

Excessive Packaging

  • Gift wrapping, especially with glossy and metallic papers, contributes to a substantial amount of waste. Ribbons, bows, and tape are also often non-recyclable.

Food Waste

  • Holiday feasts often lead to significant food waste. Overbuying, improper storage, and leftovers that go uneaten all play a role.


  • Traditional holiday decorations are often made of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials. Many of these items are discarded after a single use.

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

One of the most significant contributors to holiday waste is the wrapping paper. Fortunately, there are several eco-friendly alternatives that can help you reduce waste while still making your gifts look festive.

Recycled and Reusable Wrapping

  • Opt for recycled and recyclable wrapping paper to reduce the environmental impact. Alternatively, use cloth gift bags or furoshiki (Japanese cloth wrapping) that can be reused for years.

Natural Elements

  • Incorporate natural elements like twine, leaves, and pinecones into your gift presentation for a rustic and eco-friendly touch.

DIY Wrapping

  • Get creative and make your own wrapping paper using old newspapers, magazines, or even children’s artwork. This not only reduces waste but adds a personal touch to your gifts.

DIY Decorations

Traditional decorations often end up in the trash after the holiday season. Instead, consider making your own DIY decorations that are not only sustainable but also fun to create.

Upcycled Ornaments

  • Use old CDs, jar lids, or wine corks to create unique ornaments. Paint and decorate them to match your holiday theme.

Edible Decorations

  • Create decorations that double as holiday treats. String together popcorn or cranberries, make gingerbread ornaments, or craft dried citrus fruit decorations.

Natural Greenery

  • Instead of buying plastic wreaths and garlands, collect evergreen branches and pinecones to make your own holiday decor. These can be composted after use.

Sustainable Gift Ideas

Choosing sustainable gifts not only reduces waste but also supports ethical and eco-friendly practices. Here are some gift ideas that promote sustainability:


  • Gift experiences like concert tickets, cooking classes, or spa vouchers. These create lasting memories without contributing to material waste.


  • Consider giving gourmet foods, artisanal chocolates, or a basket of organic fruits. These gifts can be enjoyed and consumed, leaving little to no waste.

Reusable Items

  • Choose gifts that encourage a more sustainable lifestyle, such as reusable water bottles, shopping bags, or eco-friendly kitchenware.

Managing Food Waste

Holiday feasts are a central part of the season, but they also generate a significant amount of food waste. Here’s how to minimize waste while enjoying your favorite holiday dishes:

Meal Planning

  • Carefully plan your holiday meals to avoid overbuying and ensure that leftovers are minimized.


  • If you have food scraps, consider composting them rather than tossing them in the trash. Composting is an eco-friendly way to dispose of organic waste.

Food Donation

  • If you find yourself with excess non-perishable food items, consider donating them to a local food bank to help those in need.

Recycling and Proper Disposal

It’s essential to know the proper disposal methods for different holiday items to ensure they are recycled or disposed of responsibly.

Christmas Trees

  • If you have a natural tree, check with your local recycling center for tree recycling programs. Artificial trees can be donated or reused for many years.

Electronics and Batteries

  • Many holiday gifts involve electronic devices or batteries. Make sure to recycle old electronics and dispose of batteries at designated collection points.

Gift Packaging

  • Recycle cardboard boxes and paper packaging. For materials like Styrofoam, consider seeking out facilities that accept them for recycling.


The holiday season can be both joyful and sustainable. By making mindful choices when it comes to gift wrapping, decorations, and gift selection, you can significantly reduce the waste associated with the holidays. Infinite Disposal is committed to helping Colorado Springs, CO, and the surrounding areas become more eco-friendly, and we hope that these tips will assist you in having a more sustainable and enjoyable holiday season. Remember, every small effort counts towards reducing holiday waste and preserving our beautiful planet for future generations.