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Celebrate à la Zero Waste

This year's holiday season will be different than most years, but Jess has tips on how you can make your celebrations zero waste


Although this year's holiday season will be different than most years, there has never been a better time to boost our moods with some holiday cheer. Whether you'll be holding an Ugly Sweater Party with friends over Zoom, having an intimate dinner with those you live with, or cozying up in a onesie watching Elf by yourself, there are plenty of ways to get in the spirit.

And no matter how you plan to celebrate, we've got tips on how you can make it Zero Waste!


Decor: When decorating, try using items that are already in, around and outside your home! Pinecones, tree branches and food can make great decorations and be composted afterwards. Many thrift shops have great second-hand holiday decorations!

Food: To avoid food waste, plan your menu and grocery list in advance and only buy what you need. Make sure to go to the store equipped with reusable produce bags and jars, and buy in bulk to avoid packaging (if possible). When serving food, use reusable plates and cutlery instead of disposable items.

Drinks: Instead of using plastic cups, use reusable glasses, cups and mugs. Candy canes or decorative herbs like rosemary make a great substitute to plastic straws (and look very festive!)

Holiday outfits: Looking for an Ugly Holiday Sweater? No need to buy a new one! Thrift shops have plenty of second-hand sweaters available. You can also get creative with scrap fabric, decorations and a hot glue gun to make your own. (Not sure how to thrift? Check out Drew's Beginner Guide to Thrifting!)

Gifts: The key to my heart is through my stomach, so I personally love to have a holiday baking day and put together some cookie tins with holiday treats for my friends. Just get sugar, spice and everything nice (especially chocolate and M&Ms) from your local bulk store and a tin from the thrift shop to make it zero-waste!

This holiday season will be different than most, and I hope yours is filled with much love, joy, laughter, good health and very little waste. Happy holidays and all the best in the New Year!


Jess is currently pursuing her Masters in Sustainable Development and Management at HEC Montreal and works in a company's sustainability team. When she's not studying, she is jamming out on the ukulele to holiday songs, baking holiday treats or making DIY gifts. Follow her adventures on Instagram @panettajess

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