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?
- 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?