With the holidays already here, our time of celebration may be filled with family, friends, gifts, and…waste? Yes, waste. One of the major contributors to landfill waste is the holiday seasons. With the large amounts of waste that get produced during the holidays, sometimes people can fall into a dangerous cultural mindset and think that its just normal part of the holidays. You want to be weary of this mindset because it’s certainly not healthy for the environment, which means it’s not healthy for you or others inhabiting this planet either. No worries my friends, there are ways you can celebrate the holidays while still being eco-conscious. Here are 8 ways you can have an eco-friendlier holiday, and help put a stop to holiday-landfill waste.
1. Consume Less, Do More:
Re-evaluate how you spend your holidays. Remember, holidays are supposed to be centered around spending time with friends and family, and not consuming material. Instead of trying to buy as many gifts as you can this holiday while contributing to landfill waste, try giving time to your family and friends instead. Do activities, play games, or simply just hang out with them. I am sure they would much rather appreciate the memories you’ve created with them more than the gifts.
2. Avoid Using Throw-away Décor:
Throw-away décor may sometimes be cheaper to buy, but it is an absolute waste you should really try to avoid this holiday. Use reusable decorations that can be utilized again for future celebrations and parties. An example would be triangle cloth announcement banners.
3. Create a list of Holiday Waste:
If you are a fan of making lists like me, you’ll love this idea. Create a complied list of all the things that cause you to produce any type of holiday waste. Try to research and figure out different ways to limit or eliminate the holiday waste on your list.
4. Recycle that Tree:
Instead of just throwing your Christmas tree into the dumpster, try finding different ways that you or other people could reuse it. Old Christmas trees create good mulch as well as something yummy for goats to nibble and climb on. You can try to contact your town hall or local department of public works to find out about the various Christmas tree recycling options available in your area. Each community often handles Christmas tree recycling differently, so be sure to find out the regulations in your area before deciding. If you trim the tree down enough, you can even put it in your compost pile. Your old tree can also be used for landscaping and providing runoff prevention.
5. Conscious Gift Wrapping:
Lightly used gift bags, wrapping paper, containers, or tissue paper can be used for wrapping gifts again the next year—so remember to collect and save them. You can even wrap your gift items in things that can be included as part of the gift, such as totes, t-shirts, socks, or scarves. Use old newspaper, burlap, paper bags or magazine articles to wrap your gifts in. You would be surprised at how many kinds of clever, eco-friendly ways there are to wrap-up those holiday gifts.
6. Purchase Antiques or Second Hand Items:
Buying things brand-spanking new can add packaging waste to the landfills as well as waste your money. Especially if you can find the exact same item in a second-hand or an antique shop. Antiques are growing in popularity, and almost everyone loves them. Shopping at second hand stores for gifts is an easy way to reuse items and give them new homes.
7. Simplify Your Holiday:
Take time to think about all the things that cause your holidays to be complicated, and reconsider whether you really need them. Simplifying your holiday can help you eliminate unwanted holiday stress as well as unwanted holiday waste.
8. Recycle Those Bottles:
Some people like to enjoy one or two cups of cheer while celebrating, and that’s quite alright! Just remember to recycle those empty bottles. In fact, recycle everything you can this holiday, and only purchase things that can be reused and recycled.
The earth gives to us constantly every day, so why not try giving back to the earth this holiday by celebrating in a more earth-friendly way? In return, you will be given the wonderful satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the health of our environment, and not the landfill. Cheers!