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17 Last-Minute Sustainable Holiday Tips

When the holidays get hectic, making sustainable decisions is probably the last thing on your mind. But with our roundup of eco-friendly ideas, you’ll be well-prepared when you realize you’ve forgotten something in the eleventh hour before a party or a present swap. Read on for our favorite ways to be sustainable during the holidays, from quick and easy appetizers to feel-good donations. 

Sustainable gift ideas

Even if you already drew inspo from our edible, eco-friendly gift guide (chock-full of last-minute treasures that the recipient won’t believe came from your grocery store), there may still be a few items that you haven’t yet checked off your list. When shipping times aren’t in your favor (or you simply haven’t had the time yet!), just look to your kitchen for an array of food-based, sustainable gifts to fall back on. A few free hours and a willingness to get crafty are all it takes for festive, environmentally friendly presents with an added personal spin.  

Learn how to make your own sustainable gifts like candied citrus peels.

Get the instructions on how to make edible, eco-friendly presents like spiced nuts, two ways.

Another great environmentally friendly gift idea? Choose-your-own-adventure chocolate coins.

One of our favorite homemade, sustainable gifts is this garlic chili crisp

Get your holiday groceries delivered with Misfits Market. Sign up now!

Eco-friendly appetizer ideas

Have a potluck to attend but lacking ideas, ingredients, or both? We’ve got a few recipes that don’t require an extra trip to the store. Try a sustainable holiday appetizer made with whatever you have on hand to minimize food waste while maximizing flavor. 

Need eco-friendly holiday appetizer ideas? Try our recipe for pecan and apple scrap focaccia.

Sign up to bring a festive, eco-friendly appetizer like this veggie scrap focaccia.

Want ideas for sustainable, make-ahead appetizers? Whip up this recipe for  herbed compound butter.

Get inspired with ideas for easy, eco-friendly holiday appetizers like this recipe for lemon yogurt dip with spicy garlic scallion oil.

Hosting hacks for having an eco-friendly holiday

Pro tip: Holiday meals made with upcycled and rescued ingredients, or things that might typically get tossed (we’re lookin’ at you, almost-empty mustard jar), come with baked-in conversation starters. Send your guests home not just with full tummies, but also new ideas for making the most of what’s in their kitchen.

Discover eco-friendly holiday hosting tips, like how to repurpose Thanksgiving food scraps.

Get ideas for how to have an eco-friendly holiday, like Bobby Flay’s last-bit-of-mustard salad dressing recipe.

Are you hosting and in need of environmentally friendly dessert ideas? Find out why past-its-prime fruit is ripe for roasting.

Having guests over and looking for eco-friendly holiday hacks? Get the recipes for sustainable holiday snacks like quick-pickled veggies and potato peel chips.

Eco-friendly holiday activities for the kiddos (or kiddos at heart!)

Maybe you’re snowed in or just looking for sustainable, kid-friendly activities. Or you might just want something that brings out your inner child. Whatever the reason, your kitchen holds plenty of seasonal crafting opportunities. A favorite: salt dough ornaments, which start like sugar cookies but end up as snazzy snowflakes, trees, or any other festive shape that you can use to decorate your home for years to come (unlike cookies, they don’t “go bad” if made correctly!).

Get eco-friendly holiday activity ideas like how to make salt dough ornaments.

Want sustainable holiday craft ideas? Try making a tin can bird feeder.

How to make eco-friendly holiday crafts like these homemade holiday crackers.

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Sustainable ways to spread overall holiday cheer

If you simply want to bask in the spirit of the season as much as possible before the new year, a great way to do so is by supporting and brightening the holidays for those going through tough times. The easiest last-minute gift (and likely one of the more eco-friendly gift ideas, too): help, in whatever form it may take.

Find out different ways you can donate food this holiday season here in our food donations guide.

Did you know about Misfits Market’s box donation program? If you’re not planning to order in a given week, you have the option—not only during the holidays but also year-round—to donate your box to those facing hunger.