Green Holidays

The holidays are many people’s favorite times of year: time spent with family, vacations, festive foods and gifts. But the truth is major holidays are also notorious for being the most wasteful times of the year. So what does that actually mean? In the United States, during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, waste within the home increases by over 25 percent. Can’t figure out where all that comes from? How about all of the cards, gift cards, disposable dishes and cutlery, and the one-time-use decorations that go into that perfect holiday? Think about it: half of the paper America is used to wrap packages.

So how can this problem be resolved without having a dismal-as-fruitcake holiday? Well, there are some pretty simple ways to change little habits that will make a big difference in the eco-friendliness of your holiday! Here are some ideas:

–              Instead of wrapping packages in rolls upon rolls of paper, use gift bags, which can be repurposed and passed on over and over again. Or even better, wrap in old newspaper!

–              Instead of a card, give a friend an old photo memory with a note on the back. It’s more personal, and doesn’t waste a brand new card.

–              Having a 4th of July barbeque? Use real, reusable plates instead of disposable ones. It’s much less wasteful, and also cheaper!

–              A staple of American holidays is making way too much food. To avoid waste, send everyone home with plenty of leftovers.

–              Giving a gift card? See if the company you’re buying from offers the option of e-gift cards. They save the card plastic and still allow your friend to shop to their heart’s content!

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