The Holidays are a Great Opportunity to Reduce Waste
During the holidays, Americans will generate about 1 million extra tons of garbage per week. This often comes in the form packing and wrapping from presents and leftover food.
There are many ways to reduce, reuse and recycle during the holiday period without cutting back on the holiday cheer.
Follow these tips if you dream of a green Christmas:
- Before you go to the mall, take an inventory of things you no longer use and donate old toys and clothing to a thrift store. Even if the clothes can no longer be worn, thrift stores will generally sell them to textile recyclers.
- Remember to bring reusable bags on your shopping trips.
- Consider gift bags or baskets, which can be used year after year, or a reusable bag instead of wrapping paper.
- Rechargeable batteries are a gift that keeps on giving to run those holiday toys and gadgets. They greatly reduce the amount of hazardous waste that harms the environment when thrown away.
- If Santa deemed you nice and you got a new flat-screen, tablet, smart phone, or other electronic gadget, make sure to responsibly e-cycle your old technology. Many nonprofits will accept working cell phones and computers.
- Rather than mailing paper holiday cards, consider sending e-cards or an e-newsletter.
- Food for thought: Thirteen percent of landfill waste is food and an estimated 36 million tons of food waste went to U.S. landfills in 2011.