December 14, 2015

Watching the Holiday Weight Gain – of Trash!

There’s no place like home for the holidays, or so the song goes. And writing of homes, how do you ensure that your holiday home is minimizing the amount of materials that end up in the trash?

According to an article published on Recyclebank, a website that educates consumers about household waste and recycling and that gives rewards for environmentally friendly behavior, household waste increases by about 25% (totaling about an additional one million tons) between Thanksgiving and New Years.

The article provides several suggestions for how to reduce the amount of holiday waste that is generated. For example, it suggests (1) consolidating online orders to save packaging material and (2) using reusable shopping bags when purchasing gifts at stores. The article advises against using gift wrap because wrap isn’t always recyclable, and instead suggests covering gifts in things such as fabric, newspaper, or decorative cardboard boxes.

The article also advocates for using a real holiday tree instead of an artificial one, though it mentions that there is no definitive answer as to which is more environmentally friendly. (For more information about the environmental-based arguments supporting real versus fake trees, see OLReporter blog post: The Real vs. Fake Debate: Which Christmas Tree is “Greener.”)