Wholesale Information


Waste-Free Christmas with U Konserve

waste-free christmas

There’s still time to give healthy and waste-free Christmas gifts for everyone on your list. Give the gift of homemade granola, cookies, hot cocoa or other wholesome goodies in our reusable containers, all while giving the gift of reducing waste.

According to the EPA, the volume of household waste in the United States generally increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day—about 1 million extra tons. Take part in decreasing that number by giving one of our favorite holiday recipe ideas!

Waste-Free Gift Ideas

  • Homemade Granola in a Round Container

Homemade granola is a simple gift packed full of flavors. The Very Best Granola recipe from Cookie + Kate combines whole grains, unrefined oil and no refined sugar. Once finished, pack in a Large Round Container and tie with a recycled bow or reusable string. This recipe makes 6 cups, enough to fill 3 large round containers.

  • Hot Cocoa in an Insulated Food Jar

Surprise friends, teachers, and neighbors with this simple, gluten-free and vegan Mason Jar Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix for the holidays. Combine sugar, cocoa powder, and crushed candy canes in a 12 oz or 16 oz insulated food jar, and the double-walled jar is part of the gift!

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons candy cane pieces
Make the Hot Cocoa Mix
  1. Measure the cocoa powder, sugar and candy cane pieces in an 8 oz glass measuring cup.
  2. Shake the jar until the ingredients are combined.
  3. Store in a cool, dark place until all the cocoa mix has been used.

Simply tie the cocoa’s instructions to the food jar with reused ribbon or twine, and this homemade gift is good to go!

  1. Heat 6 oz regular (or non-dairy) milk until warm.
  2. Measure 2 teaspoons of mix.
  3. Stir until the mix dissolves into the milk.
  4. Top with marshmallows, garnish with a candy cane and enjoy immediately.
  • Marzipan Energy Bites in a Square Container

Sweet treats packed in our Large To-Go Containers are ideal for hostess gifts, holiday potlucks or last minute gift ideas. Try nutritionist Lauren O’Connor’s delicious recipe for Marzipan energy bites. They require about 30 minutes total to make and pack up!

And remember, available in any denomination, Gift Certificates are the ultimate green gift.

If you’re short on time before the holidays hit, don’t stress. Instead, consider one of these time-saving ideas. Find our products at these locations or shop online and choose expedited shipping options to get your gifts on time.

Enjoy a Green Christmas this Holiday Season

green christmas

A green Christmas might not be on everyone’s wish list. After all, nothing says Christmas quite like a soft snowfall and blanket of white on the ground and trees. But an environmentally friendly Christmas is something that everyone can embrace. Ensuring that your holiday season is eco-protecting doesn’t have to mean shunning traditions; it just means tweaking them in order to protect the planet.

Deck the Halls

Christmas trees are arguably one of the most important aspects of a traditional Christmas experience. But have you thought about how the cutting of trees or purchasing of their plastic alternatives negatively impacts the environment? To make this custom greener, try decorating your outside trees. Lights, popcorn garlands, and ornaments made out of birdseed and nuts are all easy and eco-friendly. You’ll still get to enjoy the magical sight of a lit tree, and as a bonus, you’ll be feeding the animals who may be needing a bit of help finding food during the colder months.

If your heart is set on having a tree indoors try purchasing a live tree that can be planted outdoors afterward. As well as helping out the planet, you’ll also avoid the never-ending task of sweeping up the shedding pine needles.

Waste Less

Christmas is becoming more and more focused on consumerism, and it’s easy to fall prey to the idea that more is better. Reject the pressure to go over the top in your spending, whether it be gifts, wrapping paper or food. Purchase recycled wrapping paper, use paper saved from previous years, or better yet, wrap gifts in cloth or nothing at all. Buying neutral patterns will allow you to reuse paper for other celebrations as well. When planning your holiday meals and snacks, focus on quality over quantity and use some of these tips for holiday gatherings.

Give Back

If your life is good and you’re blessed, pay it forward. Giving-themed holiday parties are a great way to celebrate with your family and friends. Instead of having your guests bring the typical over-indulgent hostess gifts, like bottles of wine or chocolates, ask them to bring books, warm clothing or small toys, and then donate these to your local shelter. By sharing your resources, you’re minimizing the impact on the environment while maximizing the positive effect on those who receive your donations.

These small changes can start a global change. Switch from a “gimme” mindset to becoming an ambassador for the environment and its inhabitants. ‘Tis the season for goodwill to all. Make it the best possible green Christmas for you, your community and the environment.

Host a Zero-Waste Holiday Party This Year

zero-waste holiday party

Every December is an occasion for celebration. Friends and family enjoy gathering to celebrate the holidays and new year, but you might be concerned about the impact these events could have on the planet.

Fortunately, a zero-waste holiday party is easy to host and fun to attend.  Here are a few of our top zero-waste tips for any holiday gathering!

Invitations

We live in the electronic age which means paper invitations are unnecessary. You can build a beautiful, individual invitation on a site like Paperless Post and send them along via email. In the invitation, you can explain your eco-friendly angle for the party and ask your guests to respect certain guiding principals as they prepare and attend the event.

Gifts

Even if you ask for no hostess gifts, many guests feel obligated to bring one. The best approach is to ask that if people do feel inclined to bring a gift, give it the sustainable way. Suggest that they bring repurposed items, bring items that can be used up, or regift something they already have. Suggest that they leave it unwrapped, or wrap with fabric or recycled paper. Skip the bows and opt for reusable string, twine or no ribbon at all!

Dishes

When it comes time for refreshments, use real plates, silverware and glasses instead of disposable paper or plastic. Avoid paper napkins as well and opt for cloth that can be easily washed. Cloth dinner and cocktail napkins are easy to make with scrap fabric and add a nice touch to a holiday party. If you need to purchase reusable dishes or glasses, check your local thrift store for mix ‘n’ match options.

Decorations

The key to zero-waste decorations is to rely on nature’s beauty during this time of year. Potted plants and flowers brighten up any space. Soy or beeswax votives in reusable glass jars provide a soft, non-toxic light, and accents like river stones add a unique touch. Homemade wreaths, garlands and pinecones are an easy way to bring the outdoors in and add natural fragrance to the room.

Food

When it comes to refreshments, organic, locally produced food is always your best option. This is true not just for your holiday party, but for every day of the week! Many recipes can be made ahead of time. Get healthy recipe ideas here.

As you plan your zero-waste holiday party remember that it can be as complex or simple as you want. The key is to use these guidelines as a foundation and let your guests know what to expect ahead of time.

 

 

The Sustainable Thanksgiving Table

thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Whether you are hosting or visiting with friends or family, we love having personal touches on our table. Involve your children by working on homemade crafts to add to the meaning of the holiday.

Homemade Place Cards

Thanksgiving is not a meal you have every day. You may only see these friends or family members on special occasions. So make it personal and special by setting the table with thoughtful, homemade place cards.

Give your kids a list of all the guests who will be in attendance or offer to bring the place cards to whoever is hosting. Start with some recycled card stock, cut into 7” x 5” rectangles and let the creativity flow. Get ideas from these homemade place cards.

Thankful Placemats

Share why you’re thankful at your dinner table by making placemats out of recycled butcher paper. Ask your kids to write the statement, “I am thankful for” on the top of each with 3-5 lines or bullet points. Maybe they include a word of gratitude at each place setting. See a Thanksgiving placemat example here.

As your meal is getting started or wrapping up ask guests to fill in the blanks and then share around the table. This is an easy way to incorporate the meaning of the holiday into your meal.

Natural Table Decorations

Traditional Fall colors are beautiful on a Thanksgiving table. Hunt around your garden for eucalyptus, rosemary, olive or other holiday leaves. Add branches, lavender, gourds, berries or other natural decorations. No need to purchase anything that gets tossed into landfill, use your natural decorations all season, then add to the compost bin after the holidays. See some beautiful, natural Thanksgiving table decorations here.

Looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Visit our Pinterest Board full of ideas for the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!

Waste-Free Thanksgiving Tips for the Holiday Season

waste-free thanksgiving

The holiday season is beginning! Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this year we want to make sure you enjoy a waste-free Thanksgiving while treading lightly on the environment.

The USDA estimates that on average, American consumers waste about one-fifth of the food that is available to them. By following the few steps we’ve listed below, you can easily enjoy a waste-free Thanksgiving.

Plan Ahead

Planning is key to hosting a successful waste-free Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t let the holiday overwhelm, instead plan ahead by making sure you:

  1. If you’re having a large gathering try to get a firm headcount of who will be attending so you can better prepare while shopping and cooking.
  2. Get organized by going through your cabinets for any ingredients, especially canned foods, that can be donated to your nearest food pantry.
  3. Make sure you have a list of food your guests are bringing so there are no duplicate dishes, and consider options for guests with food sensitivities.

Use Scraps

When cooking many different dishes there are bound to be food scraps that go to waste. Make a difference this year! There are ways to use (almost) your entire turkey and set aside a compost pile for your vegetable and other compost-friendly scraps.

BYO Reusable Container

As you are inviting guests, remind them to bring their own leftover containers with them. This cuts down on leftovers going to waste and single-use plastic container waste. Enjoy 20% off glass and stainless steel nesting trios, the perfect BYO reusable containers for the holidays!

Host a Leftover Party

If you have leftovers you don’t want to eat but don’t want to waste, we have a solution. Make a day out of it and host a leftover party. Turn leftovers into pizza, soups or a potluck of leftovers from other Thanksgiving dinners.

For more waste-free Thanksgiving ideas, including DIY decorations, head over to our Pinterest Board.

4 Ways to Make the Most of your Halloween Pumpkins

pumpkin

Halloween isn’t the same without carving a jack o’lantern. But have you ever considered alternate uses for your decorative pumpkins post-Halloween? Just 3.5 ounces of pumpkin provides 100% of the daily value of vitamin A, which is essential for normal vision, fighting infection and healthy skin.

With a little pre-planning before tossing out those pumpkins, you too can reap the benefits that they have to offer.

Roast the Seeds

An ounce of pumpkin seeds gives you close to 20% of your daily requirement for magnesium and zinc. Magnesium plays a vital role in nerve, muscle and cardiac function, and also maintains strong bones. Meanwhile, zinc aids immunity, healing and fertility.

To prepare seeds from pumpkins, scoop them out, wash off any remaining flesh, boil for 10 minutes to soften and dry on a towel. You can then roast the pumpkin seeds with a olive oil and salt in the oven at 250 degrees F for 45 minutes. Add seeds to salads, granola, smoothies or yogurt!

Bake the Flesh

So many people discard pumpkins once Halloween is over without realizing what they’re missing. Skip the canned stuff and make your own pumpkin purée in a few easy steps.

The flesh of a pumpkin provides a good serving of beta-carotene which your body converts to vitamin A.  Use the pumpkin purée in many food recipes including pies, breads, muffins and soups.

Blend it Up

Pumpkin spice everything! Use that purée as an ingredient in fall flavored smoothies.  Follow this easy recipe for a drink packed with vitamin A, potassium and fiber.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 cup unsweetened soymilk or coconut milk beverage
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Top with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg. Makes 2 servings.

Make a Mask

Since pumpkins are packed with zinc, antioxidants and vitamins, they help in protecting skin from wrinkles and age spots. They also gently exfoliate, giving a more radiant complexion. Follow these steps for an easy DIY mask:

  • Make your base: Whisk together about 1/4 cup of pumpkin purée and one whole egg. The yolk adds nourishment while the white provides a subtle tightening effect to sagging skin.
  • Dry skin additive: Add a few teaspoons of honey, which not only seals in moisture but prevents breakouts thanks to its antibacterial properties.
  • Oily skin additive: For an astringent effect, mix in a splash of apple cider or cranberry juice.
  • Apply: Smooth the pumpkin-y potion over your face, relax for 15 to 20 minutes, and rinse to reveal a brighter, firmer, smoother complexion.

Pumpkins do so much more than foster the spirit of Halloween; they foster good health as well. Looking for more waste-free Halloween ideas?  Check out our Pinterest board full of our favorite spooky treats and decor.

How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Halloween

eco-friendly

Halloween is notoriously one of the most wasteful holidays because just about everything is wrapped in plastic and designed for single-use. From costumes and decorations to candy and parties, Halloween can take a toll on the environment.

However, with a little planning, it’s possible to participate in Halloween fun without creating all the waste!

Hand out plastic-free treats

There is a movement to replace candy treats with healthier alternatives, but this often means families are giving out plastic—and sometimes toxic—throwaway treats like glowsticks, plastic toys and juice boxes.

Instead, hand out eco-friendly treats that inspire creativity:

• Paper folding fortune tellers
• Origami animal shapes
• Felted wool animals
• Pencils and erasers
• Riddles on paper
• Small homemade books
• Seed packets

Make your costumes

Store-bought costumes are not only usually disposable, but they can sometimes contain dangerous chemicals and toxic flame retardants. Also look for alternatives to traditional face paints, and see the results of a report that tested 48 Halloween face paints for heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead. You don’t have to know how to sew to put together creative homemade Halloween costumes. Find out how to make eco-friendly costumes from things you have around the house by visiting our Pinterest board.

Use plastic-free treat bags

Forgo the plastic pumpkin bucket and use a small cotton treat bag that also doubles as a lunch bag. Get one here with a reusable cotton napkin for $5.95. They’re the perfect sustainable party favor too.

Use earth-friendly decorations

It’s much more fun to spend an afternoon with your kids making decorations out of fabric or recycled paper rather than going to the party store. Black construction paper bats, cheesecloth spider webs, candelabras, old branches and vintage decorations can be used over and over again. Use old clothes to make a newspaper-stuffed headless man for your front porch. And don’t forget to compost your pumpkins when Halloween is over. See our Halloween Pinterest board for some DIY eco-friendly decorating ideas.

3 Halloween Costume Ideas You Can Make!

halloween

Autumn is here and Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is a fun holiday full of treats, scares and the opportunity to dress up! Making your own Halloween costume allows you to be creative, have fun, save money, and lessen your impact on the environment.

Here are three ideas for costumes you can easily assemble using found materials or items you may already have around the house. These ideas work for men, women, and children’s costumes.

Mummy

Turn an old white bed sheet or piece of fabric into a DIY mummy costume! Start by taking 5-10 teabags and placing them in a bucket of boiling water. Let the tea steep for 20 minutes and place the old sheet in the water. Soak the sheet for an hour to give the fabric an aged appearance. Hang the sheet outside to dry or place in the dryer. Cut or rip the fabric into long strips. Put on white or light colored clothing and find a volunteer to help you wrap strips around your arms, legs, torso and neck!

Witches and Wizards

If you’re in a time crunch and need a quick and easy costume, this is for you! All you need to make your Witch or Wizard hat are paper, scissors, a ruler and some double stick tape. Follow the step by step instructions here.

Finish off your costume with items from your closet or a thrift store. For a witch costume, find a black dress, striped tights, black shoes and a broom. For a wizard costume, find a robe, graduation gown, or make your own with a sheet or tablecloth.

Cardboard Dinosaur

We love this idea from hello, Wonderful that we couldn’t help but share. This is not only a great idea for kids but adults as well. All you need are three cardboard boxes, paint, white mat board, glue and scissors.

These costume ideas are just a starting point. Exercise your imagination and embellish your costume anyway you like. Check out our Pinterest Halloween board for more suggestions on eco-friendly costumes and decorations!

 

 

Eco-Friendly Fall Decorations For Your Home

ECO-FRIENDLY

It seems as though every day in October is a countdown to Halloween. As you’re preparing to decorate this year, skip the store-bought items and choose a more eco-friendly option. Not only will you save money, but you’ll end up with unique, one-of-a-kind ideas that are gentle on the earth!

Most of our favorite ideas involve items you probably already have around the house including colored paper, scissors, string and glue or tape. Get creative and try to find items you can reuse to make decorations.

Themed Garland

Making a paper garland is an easy and fun project for the whole family. Ghosts, skulls and bats are easy to stencil and trace on construction paper, old magazines or newspaper. These ideas from HomeDIT cover Fall garlands and Halloween-themed garlands. Make the garland as easy as you like by choosing simple shapes and decorations. Kids can decorate with crayons, paint and buttons to personalize.

Alternatives to Pumpkin Carving

If you’re hosting any type of fall gathering, we love this idea where you cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the insides to make a cooler for all types of beverages. Utilize the same idea for smaller pumpkins and line with smaller glass bowls to use for snacks or candy.

If you’re looking for a new kind of pumpkin carving, these updates on the classic jack-o-lantern light us up. Simply hollow out the pumpkin, trace a shape on the outside and create holes along the pattern.

Paper Punch Leaves

Make a day out of raking the yard and collecting leaves. While outside, ask your kids to collect a handful of their favorite leaves. Take them inside and punch them into beautiful shapes and press them in a book. If you don’t own paper punches, create a small stencil of a circle or square and have them cut out their favorite part of the leaf. Once the leaves have dried, use them as DIY confetti on your Halloween or Thanksgiving table.

Looking for more ideas? Check out our Pinterest board full of ways to reuse what you have around the house and repurpose into the perfect eco-friendly Fall and Halloween decorations!