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Wasteful Holiday Habits and How To Trash Them

Updated on December 15, 2011
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What we waste

The holidays seem to welcome a season of wasteful consumption. Consumers buy and consume more this time of year than any other season. Retailers often make most of their profits throughout the holiday season. With the following tips you can reduce some of the wasteful habits - without simply using a million rubbermaid recycling bins - of the holiday season while still keeping the spirit of the season. These are habits that you can easily continue throughout the year.

Reduce Wrapping Paper

Part of the fun of giving gifts is presenting loved ones with beautifully wrapped gifts. You may already wrap your gifts with reusable ribbon and wrapping paper made of recycled fiber. Be a little more creative this year and find reusable or less conventional wrapping.

Wrapping gifts in fabric wrapping designed for gift giving is a trend that is growing in popularity. Many green retailers and websites offer several beautiful options.

Your gifts may fit well in baskets or boxes that can be reused in the household. The container makes an additional gift that can be used throughout the year. You can also inexpensively give gifts in tote bags or green bags that can be used for grocery shopping throughout the year.

Reduce Food Waste

When hosting friends and family at home for celebrations, many people enjoy welcoming guests into their homes with a big spread of well prepared dishes. These big feasts seem to leave everyone buying and preparing far more food than they will consume. You risk eating leftovers for weeks or having leftovers sit in the refrigerator. Ultimately you may throw out much of it.

You can try not to prepare as much food but no one wants to risk running out of everyone’s favorite dishes. Share these dishes with friends. Be prepared by having reusable containers and encourage your guests to take home leftovers.Your friends and family will appreciate being able to enjoy that favorite dish the next day.

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Reduce Energy

Everyone appreciates the festive look of holiday lights. Consider decorating your home in a way that reduces the energy of holiday lights. If you can reduce the amount of lights or avoid them all together you will avoid the additional energy consumption you usually see annually on your bills. If you do choose to decorate with holiday lights, setting a timer for your existing lights may save you a few hours of energy daily throughout the season. If you are buying new lights, invest in LED lights. They can be up to 90% more efficient than traditional lights. LEDs produce light without significant wasted energy in producing heat.

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