Purim is coming soon and that means planning costumes, seudah menus, and getting supplies for your mishloach manot.
To me, it seems that now-a-days mishloach manot are wrapped in so many layers of plastic and packed with so much junk and packaging. Many people seem to be throwing away the majority of the mishloach rather than enjoying the mitzvah. It’s disheartening to see.
I recently posted on my Facebook group Organizing in Israel a couple of quick and easy tips on how to make more eco-friendly mishloach manot while still fulfilling the mitzvah. In this article I do link to some products that I love (and use!) and if you purchase through the link I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Tips for Zero-Waste Mishloach Manot
- Use a reusable container ideally not from plastic. Mason jars (made out of glass) are cute and give a refined look to whatever you place inside. They can easily be washed after use and whomever receives them can use them again and again! In terms of packaging try and think about the ratio of wrapping to food you are using. If it seems like 60% trash try to think of ways to lessen that percentage.
- Skip the junk. Try your best to not fill up your mishloach manot with junk people don’t need or want. Also, junk food comes in extra packaging that will just go in the trash (see #3). A good rule of thumb to stick to while putting together your mishloach manot is you are supposed to include things you can eat for the seudah. Another thing I want to point out is that Purim is close to Pesach, so many people will not want to store junk in their homes so it will go straight in the trash.
- Pack foods that have little or no packaging. Like I said in tip #2, avoid pre-packaged food. There are a couple ways to avoid prepackaged food – some examples include cutup veggies or home baked goods. When packing these food items, try and utilize tip #1 and wrap them in cute linen or reusable wax paper. Choose paper over plastic whenever possible.
I try my best to adhere to these 3 rules while making my mishloach manot. I pack everything into a reusable bag and tie up the bag with ribbons from previous gifts that I have saved and want to reuse. The card is made from stationary I have left over.
The drink is usually a bottle of wine and the food is a challah wrapped in a tea towel or parchment paper with some fruit in its own skin. I send four mishloach manot, one to each of my neighbors in my building and the ones we share a yard with. That’s it.
It’s not time consuming what I do, I use very little waste, and I am still fulfilling the mitzvah!
What will you do to send a low waste mishloach manot and not contribute to other people’s clutter this year? Let me know in the comments below!