Ah … the holidays. A time of generosity and good will. Also, a time of excess that often results in extra waste. Studies show that household waste increases by a stunning 25% from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day!
Not only is this statistic a mind boggling, it not sustainable. Think about all the holiday trimmings, packaging, and other compostable waste that goes directly into a landfill. What if we could make a difference by looking for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle holiday wrappings and gifts?
Sustainable Holidays are a Blessing
Try something really thoughtful this holiday season – rethink how you shop, wrap and celebrate. Identify ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Make this your gift to the world for generations to come.
10 Green Holiday Tips for the Home & Office:
- Reduce Food Waste: This time of year is a time of excess resulting in large amount of food waste. Why not plan for the right amount of food to save money and reduce food waste. If you over estimated, donate the leftovers to a local shelter, food bank or freeze it for later before it spoils.
- Recyclable Shopping Bags: Bring your own shopping bags to the mall or grocery stores. Using and reusing cloth bags can reduce the thousands of bags that end up in landfills. If you do use paper or plastic bags, recycle them.
- Throw a Green Holiday Party: Going Green for the holidays should be carried over to any parties or gatherings that you have at home or the office. Clearly label recycling containers for cans, bottles and other recyclables. Of course, a Green Party can be held year ‘round, check out our blog, ‘Throw a Green Party this Labor Day’ and make it your New Year’s Resolution to continue your Green Initiatives into the new year.
- Forgo the Paper Card & Costly Postage: Sending out Holiday Cards that often end up in trash heaps unread have a triple whammy on the environment – paper comes from trees, delivery costs money, delivery sends carbons into our atmosphere. Using eCards to offer holiday wishes instead. If you feel the absolutely need to send a physical card, use recycled ones & hand deliver, when possible..
- LED Holiday Lights & Timers: LED Lights use up to 80% less energy and last 10 times longer. Also, use a timer or turn lights off during the day and late evening.
- Creative Gift Giving: The GIFT OF TIME will be much more appreciated than a tacky Christmas sweater or cheesy tie. Give thoughtful gifts that are more meaningful and useful. Give tickets to a show, concert or game; passes to a state or national park, gift certificates for dinner or a spa day. Make your own coupons for personal services, such as free babysitting, a home cooked meal, helping an elderly relative with everyday chores or home maintenance. Think outside the box about ways to spread goodwill and cheer throughout the year!
- Opt for Eco-friendly Wrapping Alternatives: Use old posters, maps, newspapers, reusable gift bags to present your gifts this holiday season. Cookie tins, flower pots and baskets are a creative and green way to place a present in a present.
- Stop Junk Mail: This time of year, the amount of catalogs and charitable donation solicitations can fill recycle bins at lightening speed. Sometimes it feels as if charitable donations go directly into re-solicitations of donations. If you’d like to stop the endless cycle, Check Out this article by eco-cycle that will help your put the kibosh on junk mail.
- Rechargeable Batteries: About 40% of battery sales occur during the holiday season. Help out the environment by buying rechargeable batteries and making sure to safely recycle any old batteries.
- Recycle Electronics and Cell Phones: This is the time of year when new electronics and cell phones are snatched off the shelf and presented in pretty packages and bags under the tree. PLEASE make sure to safely recycle or find a good home for your old electronics.
The more people that set a GREEN Example, the better chance our society has to succeed in educating those around us how a little thought and creativity can change a mindset that has been long in the making.
Give the world the gift of lowering your carbon footprint –we only have one earth and the holiday season should be a celebration of the beauty of nature, a true gift we all can appreciate!
Share on our Facebook page some of the ways you get into the Green of the Season by reducing, reusing and recycling.