The most wasteful time of the year.

It should be no surprise to anyone that more waste is generated during the holidays than at any other time of the year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an additional one million tons of waste is generated in the U.S. from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. That’s an increase of 25% from the rest of the year — from 4 million tons to five million. Even worse, approximately 50% of the gifts purchased for Christmas will end up in a landfill within the next 12 months.

What can YOU do to minimize your contribution to this environmental disaster?

Here are a few ideas for cutting back your trash output now and into the new year:

  • Bring your own bags when you go shopping.
  • Don’t buy bottled water if you get thirsty when you’re out — bring your own reusable bottle or travel coffee mug and cut back on the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills.
  • Reduce your waste by wrapping gifts in reusable bags or boxes.
  • Be savvy about recycling throughout the holidays. Don’t just throw things away because it’s easier; try to save ribbons, tissue paper, and other wrappings for reuse and, if you can’t, recycle what you can.
  • Think carefully about the gifts you buy. Are you buying things that will last? (Unless, of course, you’re giving gifts of food, wine, or other intentionally disposable items.) A singing plastic fish, while somewhat humorous, is not something that’s going to be around for a while.

These are just a few ideas; check out this list at the E.P.A.’s website.

Tell the Eco Women: What are you doing to cut back on your waste this year?

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4 thoughts on “The most wasteful time of the year.

  1. I have wasted I don’t know how many dollars on cheap funny 99 Cent store stuff for stockings. No more. I said that last year, but this year I just stay out of the stores and voila!

  2. I’m glad you included the part about saving wrapping paper, tissues and bows. I have a good collection going on (confined to one big Rubbermaid container) and sometimes I think I’m crazy for saving it all. So thanks for reminding me I’m not so crazy. :) It feels good not having to buy wrapping paper!

  3. We’re dong almost that whole list! I got cards for the boys to use at a local entertainment park for their stockings. We’re giving fewer but more quality presents to people.

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