Zero Waste Holiday

Holiday table top with decoration, gift, place setting, food items and storage container


Deck the halls with less waste this year.

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, we create a lot of additional waste. This page has tips to help you cut down your waste during the holiday season.

Create Joy, Not Waste

As you celebrate the holidays, add some of these waste-free ideas to your holiday plans, and take comfort in reducing waste, pollution and greenhouse gases.

Food on plates and in storage containers


Plan Portions to Reduce Food Waste. Try the Guest-imator at so you know how much to make. For more tips on how to shop smart, store food properly, and eat what you've purchased visit our Food: Too Good To Waste webpage. 

Save leftovers to eat later.  Check out some recipes that will help you use up those leftovers from Food Network and Cooking Light. Freeze what you can’t eat right away.  Read more about storing leftovers and how long they will last.


Reusable place setting



Use reusable dinnerware, including plates, cutlery, flatware and cloth napkins. Catering in? Choose one who will supply reusable place setting and serving platters and utensils.




Bones on plate and aluminum can


inedible scraps like bones, pits, shells. 

Recycle cans and bottles. 




Decorations made from pine cones and branches

Use compostable decorations like pine boughs, pinecones, plants or paper. Or, use decorations that you will reuse for many years to come. 




Image of wrapped gift



Give Zero Waste Gifts

Wrap Zero Waste Gifts in reusable items such as dish cloths or bags, or in recyclable paper (no metallic papers)  




Zero Waste Gift Ideas

More waste-free gift ideas from Palo Alto residents

Palo Alto community members have offered their ideas for giving great gifts without all the waste.

Mary is treating her friend to art classesAmie is buying her husband a fishing license

Maria is arranging the perfect picnicJeralyn is giving drew a coupon to walk his dog
Jeralyn is transforming a friend's yard