Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we throw away 25% more trash than at any other time of year, about a million extra tons according to the EPA. That includes everything from wrapping paper, holiday decorations, packaging, and older items like cell phones and computers, dumped when later models appear under the tree. As we move deeper into this season, think about how we can be more sustainable.
What we can do:
- Give a service instead of an object (a day off from chores, looking after kids) or something handmade (cookies, a meal).
- Consider a donation to a worthy cause in someone’s name.
- Buy less and buy well … give gifts that are thoughtful and helpful. Will our gifts meet the clutter test?
- Pass along used items, perhaps from our own families … old books, vintage jewelry, family items with a history to share and preserve.
- When shopping in stores, consolidate trips where possible.
- When shopping online, consolidate orders and do it early to avoid the need for expedited delivery.
- Minimize wrapping paper, such as with reusable gift bags. (Americans spent over $12 billion on wrapping paper in 2017, most of which is not recyclable and ends in landfills.).