8 Ways to Be More Sustainable This Holiday Season

Stay fun, festive and eco-friendly, y’all.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these affiliate links.
November 25, 2019

Related To:

Get the All-New Food Network Kitchen App

Download Food Network Kitchen now to sign up and take advantage of the latest offer and get 40+ live classes a week, hundreds of on-demand cooking classes, in-app grocery ordering and so much more.

Bringing friends and family together is what the holidays are all about, but amid all the gathering and gifting, celebrating with the environment in mind can often fall to the way side. The holiday season can be one of the happiest, and also one of the most wasteful times of the year. This year, celebrate more sustainably by mixing in some new traditions with the old.

Ask Guests to Bring Their Own Plates to Dinner

Outstanding in the Field, a traveling pop-up dining experience that brings coursed meals outdoors — on farms, on beaches, on piers — asks diners to bring their own plates to dinner. Why not do the same for holiday meals? No more paper plates needed. Plus, the cleanup will be so much easier on whoever’s hosting!

Buy It

Save Leftover Dough Scraps

Thankgiving Pie Dough Sandwich Wraps

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2016, Television FoodNetwork, G.P.All Rights Reserved

Jackie Alpers, 2016, Television FoodNetwork, G.P.All Rights Reserved

We all love a perfectly-shaped cookie and flaky pie crust, but what do you do with all that extra dough? Bake pie dough scraps into sweet crisps or wrap around dinner leftovers for a flaky, makeshift wrap. As for cookie dough, just bake it as you would and keep your own personal snacking stash of cookie chips. They don't have to be perfectly shaped if you’re the only one eating them.

Buy in Bulk

Feeding a large group can be a daunting task, but before you get caught up in the stress of it all, go easy on yourself by buying things in bulk. Think: a family sized bag of chips instead of a box full of single serving bags. When it comes to drinks, go for the growler before you buy the 24-pack; and opt for the liter of seltzer before you fall for the cans of LaCroix. And this might be controversial, but, go for the box of wine instead of being left with 16 empty wine bottles.

Buy It

Bring Your Own Bag Gift Shopping

We always think (or aspire) to bring a reusable tote bag every time we go grocery shopping. But why stop at groceries? Tell the cashier you won't be needing a bag today and bring a foldable tote to the mall while you’re grabbing gifts.

Buy It

Arguably, the Best Group Gifts are Edible Ones

Sure, you could get your entire friend group the cutest mugs at Target. But let's be honest, most people don’t need yet another mug, or another non-sentimental stocking stuffer trinket that’s only cute for, like, three days. The best budget-friendly gifts for large groups are edible ones. Think small jars of honey, personal bottles of champagne, a batch of peppermint bark brownies. They won't collect dust, and they'll keep all your favorite people happy.

Buy It

Forget the Wrapping Paper


Reusable silicone Stasher Bags are great ways to wrap smaller gifts; they come in a variety of sizes and super cute colors. Not to mention, Stasher bags are gifts in and of themselves! As an alternative to wrapping paper, go for bandanas, mason jars, reusable fabric bags or even totes that can be used way past the holidays. Or, just don’t wrap your gifts. It's not the worst thing in the world. Some retail boxes are even pretty enough as-is, but if you must wrap them, a roll of ribbon is less wasteful than a whole roll of paper.

Buy It

Invest in Reusable Serving Containers and Platters

No, we're not expecting you to give each of your co-workers a single cookie in a Stasher bag, but it’s totally worth investing in reusable serving containers and platters, as opposed to single-use tin trays or a paper plate covered in plastic wrap. If you’re not yet at that stage of life where buying a cupcake carrier makes sense, grab even a cheap metal cookie tin (to keep or to give) from your local craft store.

Buy It

Be Prepared to Store Leftovers


While you're out gift shopping, why don't you grab yourself enough storage containers to safely keep the wave of food that's going to be coming through your home? No one ever complained about having too many food storage containers.

Buy It

Related links:

Next Up

10 Le Creuset Gifts Any Food Lover Will Obsess Over

These swoon-worthy gifts are perfect for cooks of every level.

10 Personalized Gifts for the Kitchen That We Love

It's easier than ever to add a personal touch to your gifts this holiday season.

15 Gingerbread House Kits for Every Kind of Decorator

We categorized them so you can find the perfect one for you!

38 Best Christmas Ornaments for Food Lovers

From craft cocktails to gooey grilled cheese, we've found an ornament for every level of taste.

30 White Elephant Gifts Everyone Will Want to Trade For

Be the MVP of your gift exchange with these fun, food-themed gifts!

Bring the Ranch Home with the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile Advent Calendar

You don't need to be in Pawhuska to get a glimpse of "The Merc!"

7 Picture-Perfect Sets of Family Christmas Pajamas

The dog pajamas (!!) are what's really getting us this year.

The Best Food-Themed Christmas Gift Wrap, Cards, Bags and Tags

Here's how to make what's outside your gift box just as pretty as what's inside!

Every Tool You Need to Make Christmas Cookies

This is everything you need to win this year's Christmas cookie contest!