Celebrate Sustainably: Zero Waste Holidays, Parties, and Events

Learn how to enjoy all of life’s celebrations without creating waste! Join I Love A Clean San Diego on Tuesday, October 17th from 5:00-6:00 pm for our Celebrate Sustainably: Zero Waste Holidays, Parties, and Events webinar.

Our Celebrate Sustainably webinar will cover how to maintain a low-waste lifestyle while navigating gift giving, décor, and cooking for large groups. We’ll share:

  • Low- and no-waste gift ideas
  • Easy DIY decorations for different types of events
  • Where to best dispose of the waste we create after the holidays and large gatherings.
  • Ways to reduce the amount of food waste from big holiday meals

Please register to receive the Zoom link. We can’t wait to see you virtually on October 17th! Thank you to the City of Encinitas for sponsoring this event.

Celebrate Sustainably: Waste-Free Holidays Webinar

Learn how to cultivate your very own waste-free winter wonderland this holiday season at home! Join I Love A Clean San Diego on Wednesday, December 21st from 5:00-6:00 pm for our Celebrate Sustainably: Waste-Free Holidays webinar.

Our Celebrate Sustainably webinar will cover how to maintain a low-waste lifestyle while navigating gift giving, décor, and holiday meals. We’ll share low- and no-waste gift ideas, easy DIY decorations, and where to best dispose of the waste we create after the holidays like Christmas trees and other bulky items. We’ll also be focusing on ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce in our kitchens around big holiday meals, including cooking root-to-stalk recipes, recycling right, and disposing of food waste and cooking oils properly.

Please register to receive the Zoom link. We can’t wait to see you virtually on December 21st! Thank you to the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department for sponsoring this event.

Zero Waste Thanksgiving

Zero Waste Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, being grateful, and… lots of food! If you are starting to plan your Thanksgiving meals for the holiday, consider these zero-waste tips to keep our landfills from getting stuffed!

Buy Local

Visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store instead of big chain supermarkets to buy the produce and poultry you need for your Thanksgiving meal. This not only reduces your carbon footprint but supports local farmers and agriculture. The money you spend will be put back into the local economy and used to invest in better farming equipment and practices, resulting in better yield and fresher foods.

Buy in Bulk

Consider bulk buying some of your products to reduce plastic packaging and save some money! Bulk buying doesn’t mean you need to buy family-sized bags of produce, you can just bring your own containers to designated stores and fill them based on your needs. For Thanksgiving, items to bulk buy include rice, potatoes, pasta, honey, spices, herbs, and vegetables. Check out this resource on How to Bulk Buy for more tips or type in “refill stores” on wastefreesd.org to find a bulk store near you! 


Avoid using single-use plastic. Instead, use plates, bowls, and cutlery already at home. If you don’t have enough, ask a friend or family member to bring their own. For larger parties, consider purchasing compostable dinnerware made from natural plant-based materials, which are biodegradable and a more sustainable option.

Make Turkey Broth

Did you know that turkey broth is beneficial for the bones and digestive system, and contains nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals essential to the body? Instead of throwing out the carcass and innards as you would normally, add them all into a large pot along with some onions, carrots, and celery, then cover everything with water and let it simmer for 4-6 hours. You can also find other recipes and ideas here on how to use the entire turkey and not waste a single part.


No matter how carefully you plan, you’re bound to have some leftovers. Make sure you make space in the fridge beforehand and use a vacuum sealer so the food stays fresher for longer periods of time. You can also use leftovers to make new recipes such as Thanksgiving leftover casserole using mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. Discover more delicious recipes here.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are able to put into practice at least some of our Zero Waste Thanksgiving tips! For tips and tricks on sustainability visit our blog at WasteFreeSD 

Staff Picks: Zero Waste Holiday Gifts

There’s no greater test to a zero waste lifestyle than holiday time! A zero waster strives to keep items they use out of the landfill but it can feel challenging to stick to your values with many holiday activities like gift giving. Though it can be tough, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to get creative, have a little fun and share with others how simple it is to incorporate zero waste practices any time of the year.

Need some ideas? Check out a few go-to zero waste and eco-friendly gifts from
I Love A Clean San Diego staff members:

Ex Libris Anonymous
Ex Libris Anonymous

Repurposed Book Journals – Emily
Our Education Manager, Emily, loves the handmade journals from Ex Libris Anonymous. She loves them so much, she gave me no choice but to include the Portland company in this post. If you’re a literary fan, you’ll fall in love with these interesting journals made from vintage books.


Reusable Makeup Pads
Reusable Makeup Pads tied with ribbon we saved from a birthday present (aka reused!).

Reusable Makeup Cotton Pads – Natalie
Reusable makeup pads are a great alternative to disposable cotton balls and cotton pads because they help eliminate the trash you produce on a daily basis with your beauty routine. More and more companies are selling them and they are quite durable (some boasting to last more than 1,000 washes!). Natalie, our Senior Director of Operations, likes the reusable cosmetic pads from Makeup Eraser. If you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own like above. Check out this DIY Reusable Makeup Remover Pad.


Common Good Coffee
Locally roasted coffee in a reusable container

Locally Roasted Coffee – Pia
I’m all about supporting local coffee roasters. You get better quality coffee AND support the local economy. Win-win! Many local roasters are willing to work with you to fill your own containers. I love Common Good Coffee in La Mesa. You can also get bulk local coffee from the OB People’s Market.


Sustainable jewelry
Sustainable jewelry

Sustainable Wood Earrings – Becca
Many jewelry companies use repurposed or sustainable items for their materials. Becca, our Education Specialist, couldn’t stop raving about her favorite earrings from Green Tree Jewelry. They are made in the US from sustainably harvested trees and utilize 90% recycled ear cards. Plus, they’re stylish too!

Need more zero waste gift inspiration? Check out our Zero Waste Gift Guide.