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Nov 21

12 Ways to Fix Your Holiday Waste Woes

Posted on November 21, 2018 at 1:56 PM by Regina Connelly

12 Ways to Fix Your Holiday Waste Woes

12 Ways to Fix Your Holiday Waste Woes

The holiday season means tons of joy and celebration with friends and family, but it also means a lot more trash ends up at our local landfills. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, we end up throwing away 25% more garbage than any other time of year[1]. That means way too many holiday cards, bags of used wrapping paper, and leftovers end up in our bins.

Here are some tips to get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions, and make this an eco-friendly holiday season:

  1. Rethink your packaging it’s one of the biggest waste contributors. Cut back on paper and cardboard by opting for reusable tins, bags and boxes. They’re the gift that keeps on giving.
  2. If you feel the need to go the wrapping route, get creative and find fun or festive reusable or recyclable materials you already have around the house.
  3. Or use wrapping paper that’s already made of recycled paper. Most wrapping paper is recyclable but stay away from shiny, glittery, or velvety papers
  4. Cut back on plastic ribbons or bows that can’t go in your recycling bin. Or find a crafty way to reuse them.
  5. Bring back the e-card fad. The mantle-life of holiday cards is pretty short considering the waste they create. You can save money and the environment by going digital or at least segmenting your list for those who really need a physical card.
  6. Pick a thoughtful gift or gift card. When we’re in a creative gifting pinch it’s tempting to grab a cheesy mug or funny pair of socks just to get something cut back on gifts that end up in the dumpster if they aren’t re-gifted.
  7. Use your brain and not your stomach when shopping and planning. Nothing brings family and friends together over the holidays like tasty food, but who wants to run out of turkey or pumpkin pie? It’s easy to overbuy and over prepare leaving us with leftovers that end up in the bin or cans that sit on our shelves until next year.
  8. Bring leftover items to your local food bank or soup kitchen. It will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy long after the holidays are over.
  9. Holiday meals are the perfect time to break out that fine china for serving food, and it cuts back on waste to use what you already have.
  10. Take it one step further and go with cloth napkins can that be washed for additional uses rather than use paper napkins.
  11. Bring your Christmas tree to a yard waste drop-off location when you’re finally ready to let it go. It’s tempting to just leave it at the curb just like household waste. But it’s a TREE, which means it should be disposed of like one.
  12. Make this a New Year’s resolution you actually stick with and build eco-friendly waste-reducing activities all year round.

[1] https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-holiday-waste-prevention