The holiday season brings a flurry of shopping excitement: The storewide sales, special discounts and gift-giving spirit bring out the hungry consumer in all of us. Sometimes we get so caught up in the momentum that we overlook the consequences of all that hurried shopping.
According to Use Less Stuff, Americans generate 25% more waste per week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than during the rest of the year. That creates an extra six million tons of waste during the holiday season.
Here are a few simple ways to reduce holiday waste:
- Wrap gifts in recycled or reused paper. Use newspapers, old posters or magazines to create unique wrapping.
- Opt for LED holiday lights, which use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights. Turn them off and unplug them during the day.
- Buy rechargeable batteries for all those new gadgets and toys. Some companies now even offer USB battery chargers.
- If you buy a Christmas tree, look for one from an organic farm. When the holidays are over, recycle your tree—many cities turn old trees into mulch or wood chips.
- Look for organic and local foods that support sustainable growing practices. Plan ahead when you cook and use any leftovers to make creative next-day meals.