The holidays are among us! With them comes traveling, dinners, and presents! The festivities and spending time with friends and family is always enjoyable. But have you ever thought about how much more waste we create during the holiday season? Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving until New Years Day! That amounts to 25 MILLION tons of garbage! Here’s 5 easy ways that you can go green this Christmas.
1 – Think before you gift – Avoid gifts that are just going to become “stuff”. When buying for everyone on your wish list think about what they will actually use. Gag gifts are fun, but they are most likely to end up in the trash. If you’re not sure what to buy someone, then a gift card is a great option so they can purchase what they’d like without dealing with a return.
2 – Reuse paper and packaging – Save gift bags, ribbons, and bows to use for later. I collect everything throughout the year. Once the holidays some around, I have very little wrapping supplies to buy. Wrapping products in newspaper or placing in a cloth bag that can be reused are also great options.
3 – Reduce food waste – The holidays bring good food and our favorite desserts. We cook large meals, but sometimes too large. Only make what is needed. Send your guests home with leftovers to ensure it doesn’t go to waste. Stay away from once a year dishes that require unique ingredients that won’t be used throughout the year. Composting is a great idea for vegetable scraps left over from prepping!
4 – Send E-cards instead of paper – The USPS delivers approximately 2 billion paper Christmas cards a year! After the holidays most of these cards will end up in the trash. Recycle your Christmas cards and send e-cards to your friend and family. They will be able to print them if they would like a copy. It’s a great way to reduce paper waste and having to go to the store to buy stamps.
5 – Re-gift – Now, this one you might not agree with. But every year we get that one gift that we’re just not sure what we’re going to do with. Or that sweater that’s color just isn’t for you! Re-gift unwanted gifts to people that you think will enjoy them. Not into re-gifting? Donating your unwanted gifts to a charity will ensure that sweater gets to someone in need.
These are just 5 simple steps that you can take to reduce waste during the holidays. Continue these easy steps after the holidays to reduce every day waste. Consider a new years resolution to start 2018 off green!
Have a safe and very Merry Christmas