Why Does it Matter?
During the holidays, Americans throw away more garbage than at any other time of the year. In fact, between the food waste from parties, the wrappers, boxes, bows, tags and packaging we throw away, we are creating a Grinch-sized Mt. Crumpit to the tune of about one million tons of trash generated between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. But, fear not! Those Whos down in Whoville still had a wonderful holiday without the tinsel and trappings of the season…and so can you.
Making this season a bit greener is not difficult to do and it just might help you remember the parts of this time of year that are really important. Instead of focusing on the hustle and bustle and getting “more, more, more,” focus on spending time with friends and family and making memories—doing so will be much more satisfying than another sweater, electronic gizmo or space-saving kitchen gadget-o-matic…
What Should You Do?
Making your own decorations can be both inexpensive and a way to make memories with loved ones. Here are some ideas to get you going:
· Decorate with nature—use holly, twigs, pine cones, acorns, pussy willows, native grasses, etc. Then you can compost the decorations when you’re done.
· Reuse grandma’s old ornaments to make a wreath.
· Use last year’s Christmas cards as gift tags.
· Kids can make salt dough or cinnamon applesauce ornaments—these are wonderful keepsakes.
· Copy pictures of loved ones and paste them to frozen juice lids and decorate to use as ornaments.
· If you are buying any new decorations that light up, shop for those made with LED lights—they save energy and last much longer.
Most wrapping paper, bows and ribbon cannot be recycled. This is an area where you can make a huge difference.
Get creative and wrap gifts in pillow cases, newspaper, wallpaper, crossword puzzle pages, children’s artwork, grocery bags, toilet paper tubes, Pringles cans, chip bags turned inside-out, baskets, fabric scraps, blankets…the list could go on forever. And, instead of trying to wrap those “impossible to wrap” gifts, how about not wrapping them at all? Give the receiver a scavenger hunt to find his/her treasure.
The internet is a great place to find more green holiday ideas. Here are some of our favorite sites: pinterest.com , ehow.com , newdream.org and familyfun.com.
In our next edition, we’ll give you more ideas for making the holidays easier on the environment. Until then, enjoy this wonderful time of the year!