The amount of extra waste generated during the holidays is astonishing. Studies reveal waste is increased by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Years. On the next page is a fabulous infographic that shows us what gets tossed and wasted each holiday season. Want to make a dent into reducing your holiday footprint? Here are 10 ways to reduce holiday waste:
1. Reduce using paper and plastic shopping bags – Thousands of bags end up our landfills during the holidays. Reduce the number of bags by bringing reusable cloth bags for holiday gift shopping. Here’s a tutorial for making your own reusable bags.
2. Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper – Save and recycle used wrapping paper or create your own from upcycled items. Here are 5 eco-friendly wrapping ideas.
3. Send eCards or recycled-content greeting cards – Recycle paper cards and send electronic greeting cards to reduce paper waste. Here are my 5 reasons why people don’t recycle and 5 reasons they should and Care2’s eCard collection.
4. Use rechargeable batteries or give a solar battery gift - About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials that end up in our landfills. Check out this cool solar backpack that recharges gadgets.
5. Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day – This saves energy and makes lights last longer. Switch to LED holiday lights.
6. Recycle the Christmas tree – Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. Turn your tree into a feast for the birds.
7. Use a potted tree and plant it – Here are some options for purchasing a live tree that can be replanted.
9. Give quality gifts – Durable products last longer. Cheaper, less durable items can wear out quickly and create more landfill waste. Here’s a company that creates quality items and curbs clothing consumption.
How do you reduce holiday waste?
Next: Holiday Waste Infographic