It is estimated that between the Thanksgiving and the New Year holidays, the amount of garbage in the U.S. increases by an extra MILLION TONS PER WEEK. Listed below are some recommendations from Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful on how you can decrease the amount of holiday debris in your household.
Buy a containerized live tree and plant it after Christmas. Choose a reusable tree. An artificial tree can be used over and over again. Mulch, compost or put your Christmas tree in a lake or pond for a fish habitat. Use reusable decorations. Put timers on outdoor and indoor lights to conserve electricity.
Take canvas or reusable bags with you when you shop. Combine your purchases into one big bag rather than getting a new bag at every store you visit. Consolidate shopping trips to conserve gas.
Use reusable cloth napkins, china, glasses and utensils. Turn down the heat before your guests arrive. The extra body heat from your guests will warm up the room and you will conserve energy. Carefully plan the amount of food for your guests to minimize waste. Give leftovers to a local shelter. Walk to neighborhood parties or carpool to parties that are not within walking distance.
GIFT WRAPPING AND CARDS:
Purchase gift wrap that contains recycled materials. Save and reuse gift bags and bows. Make gift tags from old greeting cards. Save on wrapping…give gift certificates, money, bonds, tickets to movies, etc. Wrap gifts in scarves or fabric remnants. Donate unwanted gifts, old clothing and toys to a local shelter or charity. If your gift requires batteries, buy rechargeable. Give the gift of time … no wrapping necessary.