Studies reveal that each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas waste in the U.S. increases 25%. Here are 11 key ways your can reduce your holiday impact and add less waste to your local landfill. That means more than 1 million tons of additional waste is generated each week nationwide over this holiday time.
In fact, 38,000 miles of ribbon alone is thrown out each year–enough to tie a bow around the Earth.
1. Bring your reusable cloth bags gift shopping with you and you’ll help prevent more plastic bags from entering your local landfill.
2. Wrap gift isn recycled or reused wrapping paper. Or my favorite use newspaper and the comic pages for the kids. After everyone opens their gifts, save the paper and reuse it next year. (Yes everyone in my home is used to me very carefully opening each gift so I don’t tear the paper. Some of our wrapping paper has been reused for over 10 years now. It’s kind of fun to read all the crossed out names and reminisce who received the paper before)
3. Large gifts don’t need to be wrapped in all that paper. How about a scavenger hunt. Hide the large present somewhere in the home and then pass out a series of clues for the recipient to follow in order to gather his or her gift. It sure can be a lot of fun.
4. Send holiday cards made from recycled paper. This way you’ll reduce the amount of virgin paper used during the holidays. An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high.
5. Or send electronic greeting cards and completely reduce paper waste. Just don’t send the same card to everyone in one bulk mailing. That feels so cold and uncaring. Take the time to send one at a time just like you would if you were mailing them. A great waste-free alternative.
6. Remember to recycle any holiday cards you receive.
7. Are you giving any gifts that require batteries? If so, buy rechargeable batteries and a changer. This way all those used batteries won’t end up in the local landfill. Did you know about 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. That’s a lot of batteries. Plus, rechargeable batteries can save money in the long run.
8. Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. That is a lot of waste when the holiday is over. Check with your town to see if they are collecting trees to chip them up.
9. To help save a tree and prevent waste, you can also buy a live potted tree and plant it after the holidays. Or rent a tree – http://www.livingchristmas.com, http://plantman.com/live-christmas-tree.html
10. Gather the family together and host a create-your-won decorations party! Why buy more decorations, when you can make some pretty amazing creations from old greeting cards, cookie dough, garlands made from strung popcorn or cranberries, potpourri made from kitchen spices like cinnamon and clovers.
11. Make wreaths from artificial greens and flowers. This way you can use it year after year, No waste
So let’s come together to help reduce the more than 1 million tons of additional waste that will be generated during this holiday season.
I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Until then enjoy your day and the world around you.