The holiday season is a great time to go green and help preserve the planet for ourselves and future generations.
In addition, going green can save you money and reduce stress.
As we feast, give gifts, decorate and travel during the holiday season, we also consume a lot of resources and generate lots of waste. The amount of household garbage in the United States can increase by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
To help lessen your impact — and your stress level — here are some tips to go green during the holiday season:
- Give experiences instead of stuff to reduce waste from production and packaging of goods.
- Compost your food scraps and be sure to eat your holiday feast leftovers. Plan your meals to reduce food waste, and store leftovers in clear containers so they don’t get lost in the fridge.
- Make your celebrations zero-waste. Use reusable or compostable plates and cutlery.
- Donate excess food to food banks and old toys to charities.
- Upgrade to energy-efficient LED holiday lights, and recycle any old strands of lights.
- Wrap gifts in recycled or reused paper. Get creative and use alternative gift wrapping, such as old calendars, newspaper or posters.
- Shop locally and walk, bike or take public transportation when possible.
Looking to recycle specialty items?
The CleanScapes Store in Gilman Village accepts certain items from residential customers that can’t be tossed into the curbside recycling carts, such as plastic foam, small electronics and appliances. Check out Recology CleanScapes' list of items requiring special handling.
In addition to the Recology CleanScapes Store, several retailers and other organizations accept old holiday lights, including: