According to the EPA, Americans generate 25% more trash than usual between Thanksgiving and New Years. That's about an additional 25 million tons. We're talking a LOT of empty containers of eggnog and canned yams! Not to mention all the cards, paper and gift boxes that still get thrown in the garbage instead of the recycle bin. This season, make a promise and an effort to gift Mother Earth. Here are a few ways to start:
- Be mindful when buying groceries. Eliminate waste and only buy the amount needed. Use what you buy. Look for earth friendly containers (compostable or glass) and then dispose of accordingly.
- Be mindful when gifting. Repurpose cloth napkins, fabric remnants, maps and expired calendars for gift wrap. Choose gifts that are small space friendly, can be reused and/or support local and global causes. Encourage your kids to be creative and thoughtful in their choices, too. It takes a village but starts at home.
- Be mindful when throwing out. Take the time to separate the Styrofoam and plastic bags from the box (take to your local recycle station); flatten the box and recycle the cardboard in curbside pickup. Most cans and cartons can now go in your recycle bin. Get familiar with what goes where to keep your garbage to a minimum. This is another area where the whole family should be involved in sorting and disposing. "Take out the trash" has more layers to it than ever before but the chore becomes less of one when wrapped in an effort to lighten our world.
Need more green? Here are two popular posts from my holiday archives that still ring true: Ditch the Plastic on Turkey Day; Clutter Free Holiday Tips. And be sure to check out A Clear Place Resources Page for lots of earth friendly links including what and where to recycle across the USA.
EPA Source: Consumer Reports December 2015