While the holidays are only days away, many of us are still last minute shopping, putting the finishing touches on decorations, and organizing parties and gatherings. According to the EPA, during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, 25% more household waste is generated. This amounts to nearly 1 million tons of garbage per week that ends up in landfills. Between holiday greeting cards, gift wrap and bows, to packages and containers, there are many easy ways that you can cut back on waste and green your holiday season.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to use your own reusable shopping bags instead of paper or plastic. Many grocery stores and convenient stores sell reusable shopping bags for around $1. Buy a few and keep them in the back of your car for all of your shopping trips.
Wrapping gift in traditional wrapping paper can be costly and time-consuming, not to mention it ends up in a landfill almost immediately after the present is unwrapped. Why not green your gift giving this season, all while making it a little more personal and unique. Here are a few creative wrapping ideas to consider:
- Make the gift wrap part of the gift. Use a scarf, handkerchief, or other item to “wrap” the gift.
- Reuse items around your house.
- Sunday comics, perfect for kids
- Old maps
- Old newspape or magazines
- Blue prints
- Music sheets
- Jars and tins
- Old fabric
- Outdated calendars
- Reuse bows, ribbons, and gift bags that you receive. Crinkled tissue paper makes great bows! According to Use-Less-Stuff.com, if every family reused just two feet of ribbon this holiday season, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
With a little thought and creativity, you can have beautifully wrapped gifts that are eco-friendly too!