The end of the year is upon us, which means winter weather, holiday fun, family traditions, and more waste. In the United States, the volume of household waste generally increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, creating about one million extra tons of waste in the winter wonderland. If all you want for Christmas is less waste, there are plenty of ways you can go green for the holidays.
My True Love Gave to Me: More Experience and Less Waste
Plenty of gift ideas don’t involve lots of packaging and won’t make your loved ones feel like they got nuttin’ for Christmas. Experiential gifts not only cut down on waste from packaging and pretty paper, but they provide a fun opportunity for even the Grinch on your gift list. Gift certificates, park passes, coupons for cleaning, fun family getaways, or homemade dinners celebrate the gift of giving without the extra waste. Unstuff Gifts has ideas for all of your candy cane children including athletes, daredevils, foodies, and rock stars.
He Knows if you Have Less or More, so Have Less for Goodness Sake
Having less large gift items cuts down on the amount of wrapping paper and cardboard packaging during the most wonderful time of the year. It also helps you cut down on having to store large items throughout the year all through the house or in storage units. Becoming Minimalist has statistics about how much stuff we actually own that are sure to make you rethink some of the items you are hanging onto.
- There are 300,000 items in the average American home, and home size has nearly tripled over the last 50 years.
- One in ten Americans rent a storage unit and 32 percent of people with two-car garages only have room for one vehicle.
If you can clear out some of the clutter in your home and recycle what you can, you will surely be singing joy to the world!
Reducing Around the Christmas Tree
Of course, gift giving is just one part of the wonderful Christmastime. You can reduce waste during the holidays in a variety of ways.
- Wrap your presents to your darling from you: Use earth-friendly gift wrapping like scarves, handkerchiefs or newspaper. Make sure you buy recyclable wrapping paper, or better yet, recyclable paper made from recycled materials.
- Deck the halls: Turn off or unplug lights during the day to save energy and be sure to recycle holiday lights if you no longer need them. Use Recycle Your Holidays approved drop-off locations for lights and electrical cords.
- O Christmas Tree: Purchase a real Christmas tree to keep your holiday even greener and recycle your tree after the holidays to turn it into a valuable resource. Remove all decorations before recycling and avoid a painted tree.
- I’ll be home for Christmas: Green your travel and be sure to recycle all gift packaging while avoiding unrecyclable wrapping paper.
- Chestnuts roasting on an open fire: Prevent food waste with menu planning, smart shopping and safe storage.
Jingle bell rock your way through this checklist from Use Less Stuff to check your progress and get more ideas.
May your Days be Merry and Bright and all your Holidays be Green
Enjoy the twelve days of Christmas with family and friends even more with a no-waste holiday by volunteering, having fun together and focusing on the experience. Create less waste and more memories and have a holly, jolly Christmas that celebrates the environmentally friendly lifestyle you live all year long. If you do get new items, be sure to find a reuse option for old items like donation and resale. Merry Christmas to all and to all a green life!