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Do’s and Don’ts to Stay Green This Holiday Season

On average, Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and Christmas – that adds up to about 25 million tons of garbage! With that in mind, here are a few tips on being eco-friendly this holiday season:

  • *DO: Cook smaller portions and give leftovers to guests/save for future meals.
  • *DON’T: Throw uneaten food away – save it for leftovers, give it to your pet (if it is pet-safe), donate it, or look into composting, which would turn it into nourishment for soil and plants.
  • *DO: Give “anti-matter” gifts – things like event tickets, a trip to a state park, donations to charity, etc.
  • *DON’T: Use paper or plastic dishes and cutlery – use dishes that can be washed and re-used.
  • *DO: Donate old clothes, books, toys, etc.
  • *DON’T: Use wrapping paper that is laminated, shiny, metallic, has glitter, etc. as this kind of wrapping paper is not recyclable. Try environmentally-friendly alternatives like unlaminated paper-based or recycled wrapping paper, newspaper, or put gifts in reusable containers, like baskets or tins. Decorative ribbons and bows are also non-recyclable.
  • *DO: Plan carefully when sending holiday cards to reduce paper waste. Glittery cards are not recyclable.
  • *DON’T: Buy in bulk, as these items often have excessive and unnecessary packaging.
  • *DO: Choose energy-efficient LED lights for your outdoor decorations – these typically use 1/50th the electricity of conventional lights and can last as long as 30 years.
  • *DON’T: Throw away old electronics. If you’re gifted a new phone, computer, TV, etc., bring it to your local electronic recycling drop-off. Many cities/counties host drop-off events throughout the year.
  • *DO: Rinse your recyclables. Cartons, jars, etc. should be rinsed out before you place them in your recycling bin.
  • *DON’T: Throw away cardboard boxes. These can be recycled or saved for the next time you have to send a package.