Ways to Reduce Waste for a More Sustainable Holiday Season

Ways to Reduce Waste for a More Sustainable Holiday Season

Sustainability and holiday gift-giving: Two concepts that don’t usually go hand-in-hand. With Americans tossing out 25% more trash in the holiday months than in any other period of the year, efforts to create a less cluttered and wasteful season can feel impossible. 

So, what’s the best way to reduce waste?

At Tiny Earth Toys, we’re consistently asked this question. It’s particularly relevant during the holidays when plastic and other clutter seem like a guaranteed side-effect of giving presents to family and friends.

Fortunately, we know it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve put together three ways to fold sustainability into your holiday months; they’re so easy that you can even begin today.

Ways to reduce waste for a more sustainable holiday season

To create more sustainable holidays with less waste, we suggest:

Celebrating (and thinking) outside of the box

Considering a new way to wrap gifts

Using toy subscription services

Let’s look at the ways you can effectively apply these approaches for a more sustainable holiday season.

Celebrating (and thinking) outside of the box

It’s tough to break away from the stories we associate with holidays and gift-giving: “More is more.” “We have to order and ship presents.” “Now’s the time to shop ‘til we drop.”

These stories don’t have to become reality. By taking a creative approach to the holidays (including the gifts we give and how we decorate our homes), it’s possible to reduce the damage that this season typically has on the environment. 

If you usually rely on ordering and shipping the gifts that you give, now is a great time to research holiday markets in your area. Shopping local is a popular approach to sustainable holiday preparation. As for decorations, homemade crafts from the kids can easily become beautiful ornaments or baubles. Our wooden toys can even double as holiday centerpiece decor.


Thinking outside of the box shifts us away from what we’re used to doing… And can lead to positive changes. If you’ve always taken one approach to the holiday season, this is a great opportunity to open your mind to more sustainable methods of celebrating.

Considering a new way to wrap gifts

Most gift wrapping paper ends up in landfills. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to wrap a present – and one approach that’s both gorgeous and sustainable.

You may or may not be familiar with Furoshiki, the 1,200-year-old Japanese tradition of gift-wrapping gifts with cloth. We’re actually teaming up with Wrappr to bring Furoshiki gift wrap to your home this holiday season. Instead of amassing paper waste, these beautiful wraps can be used on a variety of presents.


After their initial use, we love transforming Furoshiki wrap into kids’ play silks – an invitation for more imaginative playtime. The transformation from gift wrap to toy is just another example of thinking outside the box when approaching the holidays. 

For those of us with last-minute holiday wrapping to do, using shopping bags that we already have at home is a sustainable method for reducing waste. Big Green Purse lists this tip and several others for continued eco-friendly wrapping.

Using toy subscription services

One of the many problems with giving plastic toys as holiday gifts? They’re usually cast aside once playtime is over, with kids then moving on to another toy. This scenario is why we believe in the rental revolution. Gone are the days of waste being synonymous with children’s toys. Now, we have the option of gifting a variety of play kits that encourage little ones to learn and play sustainability.

Toy subscription services make gift-giving simple. Once you’ve selected an age-based play kit, they can be enjoyed and then exchanged once children are ready to move on to their next set. Toy subscription services not only reduce waste now but pave the path for more sustainable holidays in the future.



If you’re ready to say goodbye to the traditional holiday approach, we encourage you to begin thinking outside the box – be that with holiday decorations, a new way of gift wrapping, or gifting a sustainable toy kit to the littles in your life.

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