According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, it is estimated that between Thanksgiving and the New Year an extra million tons of waste are generated nationwide each week. In fact, 38,000 miles of ribbon alone is thrown out each year–enough to tie a bow around the Earth!
Holy cow! I thought you might appreciate a quick list of ways to reduce Holiday waste…
- Use reusable shopping bags, or forgo shopping bags altogether.
- Wrap gifts in reusable packaging like fabric or gift bags, or use recycled paper or comic pages.
- Save the bows and reuse them next year.
- Give gifts that don’t require much packaging or wrapping, such as gift certificates, concert tickets, etc.
- Give homemade gifts like cookies, breads, or other goodies.
- Recycle wrapping paper and cards.
- Or, save bits of wrapping paper and cards and use them next year as gift tags.
- Send e-greetings instead of paper cards. Or, call your friends and family instead of mailing cards.
- Use rechargeable batteries, and consider giving rechargeable batteries and a charger with any battery-operated gifts.
- Put your holiday lights on a timer and/or cut down on the number of lights you use.
- If you use a live tree, have it recycled or composted instead of just throwing it away. (City of Des Moines will pick up Christmas trees and recycle them.)
- Consider, instead of decorating an indoor tree, decorating a tree outside with natural, edible decorations for birds, squirrels, and other little fuzzy creatures to feast on.
- Don’t buy cheaply-made, easily-broken gifts.
- Purchase gifts you are certain the recipient really wants, or buy gift certificates or consumables.
- Take holiday photographs using a digital camera.