With gifts and cookies on the brain, it’s easy to forget about Mama Earth. Did you know roughly 1 million extra tons of waste are produced each week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in the States? Similarly shocking is that if every American family rationed their holiday wrapping to just 2 feet of ribbon, we would save 38,000 miles of waste. This could tie a bow around the entire planet. Additionally, if every American family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. The shocking list of facts goes on here.
So… let’s do something about it. Here are some ideas to get the environmental juices flowing:
- Alternative gift wrapping: create your own wrapping from newspapers, paper bags, or reuse gift bags and boxes you’ve received in the past. Maybe skip the paper altogether and use cloths, dish towels (depending on the item)
- Lower the temp: If you’re cooking and having company over, maybe you can get away with lowering the heat and letting body warmth and heat from the oven compensate. Or maybe you’re traveling and don’t need to keep the heat on at all.
- Buy in bulk: You’ve heard it before, but holidays seem like the appropriate time to show your fav co-op some love. Stock up on bulk goods to reduce packaging waste.
- Use real dishes: The environment will thank you if you lose the trash and do the dishes after dinner instead!
- Eat less meat. We know meat takes a bigger toll on the environment than veggies. Instead of serving turkey with a side of roast & a side of ham, consider stuffing your merry merry with tofu & veggies.