Bring Good Cheer to the Planet
While the winter holiday season brings good cheer for most people, it also brings a lot more solid waste to the landfill, harm to the environment and additional debt to the average American family. Here are some environmentally-smart tips for a less wasteful – perhaps less stressful — holiday this year:
- Rethink cards – Every year, there are 2.65 billion holiday cards sold in the U.S. That’s enough to fill a football stadium field 10 stories high! Look for cards that contain recycled content or are actually recycled materials. You could use old cards as name tags for presents or for colorful artwork to decorate your house. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!
- Re-wrap – Wrapping paper is often used once and thrown away. Try using colorful pages torn from magazines to wrap small gifts, and old maps or the Sunday comics for larger boxes. Avoid using paper entirely by using reusable decorative tins, baskets or boxes. If you do buy wrapping paper, look for ones made of recycled paper. Reusable cloth ribbons can be used in place of plastic bows. Finally, unwrap gifts carefully and save wrappings for reuse next year.
- Message eco – Look for gifts with an environmental message: a nature book, a refillable thermos bottle, a canvas tote bag, a battery recharger or items made from recycled materials. Choose solar powered instead of battery powered products. Or better yet, ones that require no power at all.
- Give from the heart – Other environmentally-smart gifts include homemade ones: home baked cookies, bread or jams, a plant or tree. Ones that don’t create any waste at all: concert or movie tickets, dinner at a restaurant, or an IOU to help rake leaves or repair a leaky faucet. Ones that get “used up”: candles, soap, or seeds for next year’s garden.
- BYOB – Bring your own tote bags when shopping and avoid coming home with an armload of plastic bags holding just one item.
Have a safe and environmentally-healthy holiday season this year!