Everyone is busy during the holidays and there is so much to do. However take a moment to consider what you can do to make a difference on our environment. During the holidays, Americans create an extra million tons of waste each week and we boost our energy consumption by 27%. We purchase over 2.6 billion holiday cards and half of the paper Americans consume yearly is used to wrap and decorate products.
Below are some simple things we can do to help reduce our impact and protect our natural resources or our children and generations to come:
* Recycle your Christmas tree by leaving it out for curbside recycling. Please remove decorations and tinsel beforehand. Or you may be able to take it to a local mulch company to be recycled into mulch. One year, we took ours in and received a free bag of mulch in return.
* During the year, collect paper goods that you can later use for wrapping. I have tons of brown packing paper that I smooth out and stamp. It looks so pretty! You can also get creative and use the comic pages, old maps or re-use gift bags.
* Save boxes you might get in the mail or from products and use them instead of buying boxes. I love doing this! I might put a gift card in a odd shaped box. My mom uses food boxes and cereal boxes. They are great for clothes or movies.
* Recycle or re-use all the paper and boxes used for the gift you receive.
* Don’t forget all the plastic containers that come with all those toys. That can all be recycled.
* Give gifts that require little or no packaging and consider the durability of a product before buying it. Buying cheaper items often mean they will wear out faster. Personally, I asked my mom to no longer buy dollar store items for my children. I’d rather her out that money into a movie or books that my children will more out of and last longer.
* Purchase LED lights. LED lights use 90% less energy than traditional lights. I still have some traditional lights but all w lights purchased are LED.
* Eat up all those leftovers from all those holiday celebrations! More food goes into the garbage during the holiday than any other time of the year.
What do you do to be green at this time of year?