It's easy for the holiday season to turn into a time with a lot of unplanned waste. Here are a few tips on how to make this season more sustainable. 

1. Plan your shopping list

Take a moment to plan your shopping list; only buying what you know you’ll use. This is especially important when purchasing perishable items like produce, dairy, and meat.

Don’t forget your reusable shopping bags!

Looking for a good shopping list template? Try the shopping list template from Food: Too Good to Waste.

2. Skip paper and plastic disposables

Ditch disposable, and go for reusable cutlery, dishware, and napkins. They are better for the environment, and reduce your trash load for the holiday week.

3. Take only what you will eat

It’s easy for your eyes to grow bigger than your stomach. Be mindful of your serving size. Give yourself, or ask for, small portions. You can always go back for more!

4. Don’t throw away food

Eat what you can first, and compost second.

If you have a lot of extra food, pack doggy bags for your guests and/or freeze extra food.

Compost food scraps like potato peels, eggshells, and bones. If you receive curbside trash, recycling, and organics collection services from the City, you can compost at the curb.

5. Recycle as much as possible!

Frying food? Recycle the oil. Place it in a sealed plastic bottle, label it ‘vegetable oil,’ and drop it off in the Oil Recycling Shed at the East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE, or at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, 3900 Hebl Ave. SW.

Glass is accepted at the East Side Recycling Center, Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, and North Dodge.

Wine corks can be recycled at the East Side Recycling Center in the designated bin in the Oil Recycling Shed.

In general, a lot of food packaging is recyclable, so check labels and recycle what you can. Not sure what is recyclable? Check out our Curbside Recycling Guide or our Recycling webpage.

No service reminder: Trash, recycling and organics will not be collected at the curb on Christmas Day, December 25, or New Year’s Day, January 1. If either are your regular collection day, please have materials to the curb the following day by 7 a.m.

Date of publication

Monday, December 16, 2019