Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans toss 25 % extra trash than normal — that’s 1 million additional tons of rubbish weekly. Consider these environment-friendly decisions and you can’t solely cut back waste however assist preserve our world somewhat cleaner throughout Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and different holidays.
Holiday Trees & Decor
Opt for actual Christmas bushes or Hanukkah bushes. If you desire a reside tree, go to a neighborhood, sustainable tree farm. Or think about a potted tree you can plant when the bottom thaws within the spring.
Dispose of your tree by discovering a holiday-tree recycling initiative close to you or, in case your group presents the service, put it out for curbside pickup and composting. You also can flip it right into a chicken feeder by stringing it with fruit or pinecones coated with birdseed.
Choose energy-efficient LED vacation lights for adorning; they use 75 % much less power than incandescent bulbs, plus they final many seasons longer, based on the EPA. Put your lights on a timer to save lots of much more power. Old gentle strings could be recycled because of a number of progressive corporations similar to www.christmas-light-source.com and www.holidayleds.com.
Think exterior the shop: Give do-it-yourself presents, similar to crafts or meals, academic items, or experiences as a substitute of extra stuff. And whenever you do purchase items, choose for sturdy, recyclable, energy-efficient ones, or objects constituted of pure merchandise. Shipping a present? Save and reuse packing materials.
Avoid gag items and donate undesirable items to charity. Sixty-two % of Americans will obtain an undesirable present in the course of the holidays — and whereas a 3rd will return them, one other third throw unwelcome presents straight into the trash.
Rethink the present wrap. Up to half of the paper Americans devour is used to wrap and enhance merchandise. Instead, reuse present luggage, wrapping paper, and tissue paper.
Or think about different inventive choices, similar to previous maps, posters, calendars, newspaper comics, or cloth. You may additionally wrap the present in one other present, similar to a shawl, dish towel, or material serviette. (For concepts, go to “Zero-Waste Gift Wrapping”.)
Consider options to ribbon, similar to string and yarn, or save and reuse previous ribbon. Every yr, Americans discard 38,000 miles of ribbon, sufficient to wrap across the planet, with extra left over to tie a giant bow, based on the National Environmental Education Foundation.
All the Trimmings
Send vacation needs in recycled-content playing cards and envelopes. Americans purchase 2.65 billion Christmas playing cards yearly — sufficient to fill a soccer stadium 10 tales excessive, based on the Stanford University recycling undertaking. Avoid shiny playing cards and wrapping paper; although fairly, these supplies should not recyclable.
Or make your personal playing cards or present tags out of final yr’s playing cards and the wrapping paper you saved. You may even go paperless because of the array of corporations providing elegant digital playing cards.
Remove your identify from the mailing lists of mail-order catalogs you now not want to obtain.
Offer rechargeable batteries and a charger in case you’re giving a present that requires batteries. Americans throw away an uncountable variety of disposable batteries yearly — billions, based on the EPA. Or think about rechargeable batteries as a standalone present.
Forgo food waste with some considerate planning. Each yr, Americans discard 30 to 40 % of their food — 133 billion kilos. Count your company, plan menus, and purchase solely what you want. And spend money on some sustainable food storage for all these tasty leftovers.
Bring out the true plates and flatware for particular meals as a substitute of paper plates and single-use plastic utensils. It’s a particular time! And invite household, children, and even useful company to affix collectively and help with washing the dishes. It’s all within the vacation spirit.
This article initially appeared in Experience Life, Life Time’s whole-life health and fitness journal.