by Kimberly Blackford
“Living Green” and celebrating the holidays hardly seem to go together! How can one reduce their ecological footprint when there is so much indulgence all around us this time of the year? Before you think it can’t possibly be that bad, take a look at some facts below about holiday wastefulness.
- From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, a household’s consumption increases by 25%. This includes food waste, shopping bags, packaging and wrapping paper. It all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week in landfills.
- The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the United States can fill a football field ten stories high. To produce those Christmas cards requires 300,000 trees to be harvested.
- If every family reduced their driving by only one gallon over the holidays, then greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by one million tons.
- If every family reused two feet of holiday ribbon each year, then the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
- Every year 50 million Christmas trees are purchased in the U.S. Thirty million of those end up in a landfill. Instead, compost, mulch or recycle your tree after use.
- 40% of battery sales occur during the holiday season.
- Nearly 3,000 tons of aluminum foil will be used to wrap turkeys, which is enough to make 52 aluminum foil paths for Santa to follow to the North Pole and back.
Now that you know how much waste really occurs this time of the year, here are some tips for greening up your holiday season using the three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle as a guide.
What To Reduce
Energy consumption – use LED lights.
Unused decorations and clutter – Donate any unused decorations to charities and other organizations.
Packaging and wrapping paper – reuse wrapping paper and ribbon. And, wrap gifts in newspaper and old maps.
Non-recyclable Materials – Shy away from buying anything that can’t be recycled.
Petroleum based products – Drive less and shop online.
What To Reuse
Old lights if they are energy efficient. If not, then as they stop working replace with LED lights.
Old wrapping paper
Cutlery and china for your family’s holiday dinner
Scraps from sewing or hobbies to make homemade gifts
What To Recycle
Compost everything possible including your Christmas tree and table scraps
Old Christmas cards and gift-wrap
All non-biodegradable items
House Plans and More has over 17,000 house plans and project plans to choose from in a variety of styles and sizes. Start searching for your dream home now.
Here are some related articles:
Save this article to:
back to top