The holiday season can be fun, festive and filled with celebration. It can also be a time of high impact on the environment. In addition to the fun, holidays involve a huge amount of waste - discarded wrapping paper, packaging, decorations and food, for example. The Clean Air Council estimates that an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays in the U.S., and 4 million tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags.
What are some ways you can reduce your impact on the Earth (and the oceans) during the holidays? Share your tips!
1. Reduce the Wrapping
All wrapping paper is not be recyclable in all areas, or maybe in the hustle and bustle people don't think to recycle their wrappings. You can solve that problem by using recycled or reusable wrappings. You can make your own by decorating brown paper or newspaper, making your own gift bags, or my personal favorite - wrapping items in new towels, which are definitely functional and reusable.
2. Buy Items With Less Packaging
If you have a choice, buy items with less packaging so there's less waste to throw out. Gift cards are useful, can be recycled and easy to wrap!
3. Decorate With Recycled Items
Reuse decorations or purchase new (to you) decorations at thrift stores, antique shops, etc. Here's a great overview of bargain christmas decorations from the Collectibles GuideSite.