The volume of household waste in the US generally increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The additional food waste, packaging, wrapping paper, etc., adds up to about one million extra tons of garbage a week nationwide. Below you will find some practical and easy ideas to help you reduce waste during the holidays and throughout the year!
1. Buy less food
Buy only what you need, if possible purchase local, in season, fresh items in smaller quantities.
2. Set up an area in your fridge for food that needs to be eaten soon
A designated box or shelf to put leftovers and food that needs to be eaten first is a good way to avoid wasting food.
3. Recycle your spent holiday lights
Do you have a pile of burned-out holiday lights? Are you replacing old holiday lights with energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights? Don’t throw out your holiday lights - recycle them! Holiday light recycling programs take your old light strands and recycle the copper wire inside them. Check online for locations.
4. Give green gifts
Avoid over-packaged gifts that need batteries or use lots of electricity. Consider crafting a gift or gifting a shared experience, like a visit to a museum or a zoo.
5. Buy well, buy once
Well-designed and constructed products that are repairable will last longer and usually save you money, even if they cost more initially.