Have A Green Christmas
The holidays are a fun time of year with lots of gifts and decorations but unfortunately it creates tons of waste filling our landfills.
How can we change?
By buying reusable products. If you use something at least twice you’ve saved that much from being thrown away.
Each year 50 million real trees are bought and 30 million of those trees go into the garbage after the season is over.
One acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people.
How can we change this situation?
Artificial trees have come a long way in looking more and more like a real tree. Some come complete with lights so all you have to do is put three or four parts together, plug it in and you are set to go. These trees can be used over and over again. They disassemble down to fit into a box that doesn’t take up much space. Store it under a guest bed, in the attic, closet or basement until the next year.
Another option is buying a real tree in a pot, after the holidays you can plant it outside in your yard or out in the country. Either way you aren’t killing a tree and adding to the environment.
If you absolutely feel the need to buy a real tree, some places have composting stations set up to take your dead tree. They will shred it and use it for gardening mulch in the spring.
This adds up to about 4 million tons of waste. We don’t think about how much is thrown away after our holiday fun is over but I’m sure you have realized how much more garbage you carry out compared to the rest of the year.
Due to the dyes, coating and plastics added these products are difficult to recycle.
I bought heavy-duty decorated boxes a few years a go and reuse them over and over again. I also purchase the nicer ribbon with wire and make my own bows we recycle again and again. Just roll the ribbon up and store in one of the boxes.
I have a sister in law that doesn’t recycle anything and finds this amusing but most everyone else doesn’t have a problem with it especially after they see how nice my gifts look. They are much more attractive than any of the bags or wrapped presents anyone else brings.
As boxes begin to wear you can repaint or rewrap the lids and bottoms separately continuing to use these great containers.
This is a tradition I would gladly see go by the wayside but unfortunately many people still enjoy doing it, especially the older generation. I feel obligated so I do still send some out.
With email and ecards this will eventually disappear but until then there are ways to help with this wasteful form of greeting.
We throw out 2.65 billion cards each year, that’s 200,000 trees.
Hemp is a much better resource but not easily found in America. You can find some hemp products online but recycled paper is more readily available. Another cool thing I found are cards you can plant. Wild flower seeds are imbedded inside each card so next planting season your friends and family can put the paper in their flowerbed, cover with dirt, water and they’ll have pretty blooms to enjoy. It’s two gifts in one.
The Sierra Club offers cards made from recycled paper and a portion of the proceeds goes to help the environment and plant more trees.
I’m just as guilty as the next person about wasting food. I always cook too much and end up throwing out some items. I am doing better but could still improve.
Try not to cook more than your family can eat. Americans throw out around 28 billion pounds of leftovers each year. I can only imagine how many people that would feed.
We should make less or invite those who don’t have anywhere to go. I often see friends online in other states who say they will be spending the holiday alone eating pizza or carry out food. Just imagine if we all invited one or two other people to our homes during this time how much less food would be wasted. We all know a lonely neighbor who is a widower or someone who lives away from family.
It seems these days that everything runs on batteries. You get a toy and it says on the box: batteries not included.
Buy rechargeable when possible and if not at least be sure to recycle them. Most battery stores will take them.
This website will help you find locations to take your old batteries:
- Call2Recycle US > Recycling Your Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones
Recycle your rechargeable batteries and cell phones.