Make the holiday season greener by reducing, reusing and recycling
Vancouver, Wash. – American household waste increases by more than 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, contributing an additional 1 million tons per week to landfills.
But by taking a few simple steps to reduce, reuse and recycle, you can make the holiday season a little greener without losing any holiday cheer.
Before the holiday parties and gift-giving begins:
- Send holiday e-cards rather than mailing paper cards. Or make sure the paper cards you buy have recycled content and are recyclable. Recycle holiday cards you receive.
- Give experiences, time or talent as gifts. Consider gift cards to restaurants or tickets to a sporting event. Take someone to a play or teach them how to play an instrument. Make a charitable donation in the recipient’s name or give a museum membership.
- Give home-baked goodies in reusable containers, such as holiday tins or jars.
- Take reusable bags on your shopping trips.
- Reuse holiday decorations or trade decor with a friend. Shop at thrift stores for new-to-you decorations.
- Wrap gifts in reusable bags or use old maps, fabric scraps or newspaper rather than purchasing wrapping paper.
- Plan your holiday meals to avoid over-buying food. Send guests home with leftovers in reusable containers, and compost your food scraps.
After the holiday gatherings:
- Save gift bags, tissue paper, bows and ribbons to reuse next year. Recycle wrapping paper (not foil-covered paper) that cannot be reused.
- Take inventory of things you no longer use and donate old toys and clothing to thrift stores.
- E-cycle your old electronic devices. Search www.recyclingA-Z.com for electronic recycling drop-off locations.
- Take block foam to a drop-off site for recycling. Search www.recyclingA-Z.com for locations.
- Use rechargeable batteries to power new toys. They greatly reduce the number of batteries thrown into the landfill. Search www.recyclingA-Z.com for household battery disposal options.
For more holiday waste-reduction tips, visit the Clark County Green Neighbors website.
“Waste-reduction efforts don’t need to end with the holiday season,” said Sally Fisher, program coordinator with Clark County Public Health. “Make your New Year’s resolution to practice the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – every day.”