How to Celebrate Sustainably this Holiday Season
The holiday season is officially here. You can catch us watching *ALL* our favorite festive movies, trimming the tree, picking out the perfect gifts for our loved ones, and enjoying hosting and being hosted. We all know that entertaining can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be, just focus on what’s most important… the people you are spending it with.
This year, we challenge you to join us in celebrating in a more sustainable fashion, without losing any of the magic. That’s why we’re teaming up with Cambria Estate Winery, a family-owned business known for producing superb single-vineyard wines, inspiring and empowering women leaders, and practicing sustainable farming in the vineyard, in the cellar, and their local community.
Ready? Here are your three key steps to thoughtfully nail the holiday season.
Start with local and women-led businesses. By now you’ve probably heard how important it is to support your local economy and shop small businesses. In fact, you might even participate in Small Business Saturday on November 24th! This year, we challenge you to take it one step further and focus on supporting female artisans, shop owners and companies.
Start by researching which companies are working hard to empower women and are making products you already want to buy. At Cambria Estate Winery, Katherine and Julia Jackson are at the helm of the business as co-proprietors, leading change initiatives and sustainability efforts in the winery and in their estate vineyard properties. The team there is made up of strong female leaders including Winemaker, Jill Russell. Together they have built something truly special by producing amazing wines from California’s Santa Maria Valley, all with grace, pride and the future in mind. Since we’re always on the hunt for the perfect hostess gift, their Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay and Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir will be our go-to’s this season.
Scrap the paper in favor of fabric gift wrap. The real question is: Why wouldn’t you wrap all your gifts with fabric this year? Not only will you cut down on paper waste, but also your presents will look better than ever. A tea towel is the ultimate hack here; they’re perfect for wrapping small items and act as a second bonus gift for a pal! Done.
Bonus tip: Take your wrapping game up a notch by adding a piece of rosemary, eucalyptus, or some flowers as the finishing touch. It will look beautiful and your host can repurpose the items as an edible garnish for the evening!
Do your best to buy items with limited packaging. Consider narrowing down your search to items that don’t require any kind of plastic or paper packaging. Loose soaps from your favorite local market, an unwrapped bargain from your favorite antique store, or homemade baked goods will do the trick. If you aren’t able to avoid packaging altogether, be strategic about ways to limit excess waste. For example, grab a bulk set of festive socks instead of buying individual pairs for each friend.
Serve items that will limit food waste. Remember: A sustainable evening doesn’t have to compromise elegance! It’s all about choosing ingredients that can be reused later on. With a little strategy, you can treat your guests to almost any luxury without feeling wasteful — including a cheese board. Begin by sprinkling in fruits as a sweet bite. Anything extra can be grilled with a little olive oil for a treat later, grilled stone fruit is always a hit. After the party, spare cheese can go towards an epic mac and cheese next week. Just top with bread crumbs using your leftover bread and crackers.
Avoid disposable place settings. Dust off your china, pull out your prettiest glassware, and get ready to set a sustainable table your guests will remember. In the past, you might have opted for disposable dishes to minimize clean-up after a long day. Not this year! Ditching a paper and plastic tablescape is one of the smartest ways you can avoid excess waste. Though you may spend a little extra time at the sink, you’ll actually be avoiding multiple trips to the garbage cans outside. Plus, it can’t hurt that you’ll save a few extra dollars when you use items you already own!
Send guests home with a plastic container of leftovers. No matter how hard you try, sometimes the evening ends with leftover food. Guests cancel at the last minute, plates aren’t cleaned, and you miscalculate how much each friend will indulge. Rather than tossing the remains of the delicious salad you served, try sending guests home with reusable plastic containers or plates they can return. They’ll appreciate a quick meal later on in the week, and you’ll feel good that the delicious meal you assembled will transform into a gift that keeps on giving.
Treat yourself to sips and bites that are sustainably farmed. Whether it’s drinks or mouthwatering desserts, there’s no shortage of opportunities to treat yourself during this time of year! Still, that doesn’t mean that your indulgences have to come at the cost of the environment. For gifting, hosting, and your weekly go-to, Cambria Estate Winery has you covered with single-vineyard wines that are sustainably farmed and bottled on-site.
If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, try the farmers market for locally grown fruits or homemade pastries. When headed to the market pack your own bags and don’t forget to bring along reusable containers to collect items like jam or candied nuts. Bonus: Going to the market is a great way of connecting to your community and you can put a face to the farmer that’s supplying you with your food!
Decorate your home thoughtfully. Is there a better feeling than walking into a home that is decked out for the holidays? We absolutely love the frills of holiday décor, but we’re working to limit the negative impact of our trimmings. If you’re purchasing a tree this season, pick up a living one! A potted tree can be planted after the holidays in your yard or donated to your local park or community garden, and you’ll enjoy the benefits for more than a couple of weeks.
Rather than spending money on new ornaments or decorations, host a swap with friends or invest in unique ones from a vintage store. Use soy candles instead of wax ones because they have no toxins and are biodegradable. Last of all, minimize how long you keep those lights on. If you’re stringing lights outside, try to find solar powered ones. The more energy you can conserve, the better.
There ya go! Now you have all the tricks and tools to make this the best holiday season yet for your community and planet. Party on, sustainable ladies!
What changes will you be making this holiday season? Share with us on Twitter by tagging @BritandCo and @CambriaWines.
Production & Styling: Kayla Haykin, Arshia Singh, & Alexa Land
Photography: Brittany Griffin
Modeling: Arshia Singh & Kayla Haykin