I recently read that the average household waste increases 25% from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. That is crazy! Between the wrapping paper, extra food and shopping bags, the holidays are a time of extra energy use and consumption. So I encourage you to rethink the holidays! Here is a list of tips I found from some of my favorite sustainability websites:
- Try to turn off or unplug your holiday lights during the day. There’s no need to keep them on when no one can see them!
- Wrap your gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper, and recycle or reuse the wrapping paper when you’re done. Better yet – try using newspaper as wrapping paper or use gift bags that can be used over and over again
- When you are out shopping, remember to bring your own bag. Or if you are forgetful like me, just use one bag for the whole trip. Tell the store clerks that you can put your just purchased item in a bag you already have.
- Make sure you donate any unwanted gifts or outdated things. Instead of throwing them away, take them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army, or another charity of your choice.
- Instead of throwing away your holiday cards at the end of the season, recycle them! The 2.65 billion cards sold each year in the U.S. alone could fill in a football field 10 feet high.
Share any ideas you have for making the holidays greener in the comment section below!
Written by: Lauren Henry, class of 2014