If you’re feeling a little extra jolly or have a bit of fa-la-la-la-la in your step, that must mean it’s the holidays! Tis the season to spend time with your loved ones, share gifts and sometimes wear a really ugly sweater. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not only is this festive season perfect for joy and reconnecting, it’s also the perfect time to reflect on the year that’s past and what we’d like to do in the new year. 

If, like so many of us, you’re striving to find ways to live a life that’s more sustainable and environmentally conscious, then why wait? Even during the hustle and bustle this time of year, there are simple ways you can spread a little cheer to Mother Earth, too. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a more mindful kitchen with these simple swaps that will make your home more sustainable.

1. Swap Conventional Wipes for Wipes that are Biodegradable

No one can deny that convenience is key in the kitchen, especially when cooking delicious holiday meals or big batches of tasty treats. When you need a quick way to wipe up a mess, kitchen wipes are the perfect solution. But not all kitchen wipes are created equal. These single-use kitchen staples can be tough on the environment. Make a mindful swap by choosing wipes that are biodegradable, like Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar Wipes. These wipes cut through tough messes, then biodegrade in normal municipal conditions, rather than sitting in a landfill. 

2. Update Your Air Freshener with Natural Citrus

We all want our homes to smell clean and refreshing. However, commercial air fresheners can release harsh chemicals into the air. Instead, try a simple, natural air freshener using ingredients you probably have on hand. In a pot filled with water, simmer lemon and orange peel on the stove to give the house a natural, citrus scent that you and your guests will love. But remember, only do this when you can keep an eye on your simmer and add water if the pot gets too low. You can even give your air freshener a holiday twist by adding some cinnamon sticks and cloves to your simmer.

3. Swap Plastic Storage Bags for Reusable Ones

Deck your fridge with reusable containers! Big holiday meals are great for leftovers, but storing the delicious feast isn’t always as sustainable as we’d like. Plastic storage bags make for a simple, flexible way to store food of all kinds, but there is a greener option. Stasher Bags, reusable silicone food storage bags, make for a sustainable (and colorful) alternative to single-use plastic bags

4. Switch to Buying In Bulk

Go for the big one! Try to reduce the amount of packaging you purchase by switching to bulk and refill sizes of your favorite products. Though this swap may not work for everything you buy, cleaning products are a great first step. Stock up on bulk refill sizes of your go-to cleaning supplies, like Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar or Hand Soap. Refill sizes don’t just save on plastic waste; they usually save you money, too!

5. Swap the Garbage Can for the Compost Bin

Why throw it out when you can use it to go? This tip is especially helpful for all of our cooks and gardeners! Rather than throwing food scraps in the trash, you can reuse them by composting. According to the NRDC, about 28% of our residential waste is made up of material that could be composted. Composting not only reduces waste, but it’s great for the soil and reduces methane emissions in landfills. You can start your own at-home compost pile to use in your garden or research local services that will pick up your compost for you. 

6. Change out Paper Napkins for Reusable Fabric 

Do more to eliminate single-use items from your kitchen and class up your dinner parties by updating your napkins. Like any single-use item in our world, paper napkins leave behind an environmental footprint. Try swapping them out for fabric napkins, which are washable and reusable, not to mention they immediately level up your hosting game and table decor. Napkins like these minimalist ones from Goodee World make your tablescape totally insta-worthy, while helping to reduce waste in your home.

Even if you’re only able to implement one or two kitchen swaps to start, you’ve still made a huge step toward a greener world. It’s small changes in everyday habits that combine to make a big impact and protect our planet. And we hope these new, sustainable practices in your kitchen will add a little extra jingle to the joy of the holidays. 

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