According to Use-Less-Stuff, a waste-reduction website, “Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week.” They go on to list 42 Ways to Trim Your Holiday Wasteline. Some of the helpful hints include
-During the nation’s busiest shopping season, bring your own shopping bags. Paper, plastic and cloth are all good; the latter two can be folded easily into purses and pockets until used.
-Rather than piling up “stuff” under the tree, think about what friends and family really want or need. Try giving gift certificates if you don’t know what someone wants, or simply make a donation in his or her name to a favorite charity.
-Get the kids to make their own tree ornaments out of things you already have around the house, or from materials they might find in the backyard: twigs, bark, flowers and herbs, pine cones, etc.
-Send e-greetings to family, friends and business associates who are on-line.
-Turn down the heat before the guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests will warm up the room.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has another good list of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle this holiday season.
Following the three Rs of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle will not only help our planet, but will also help your budget!