We all know that we should try to be sustainable this holiday season and all year round, but you might not know what an enormous impact simple decisions, like choosing wrapping paper, can make on the environment. In an article published in The Daily Green by Brian Howard, they cite an amazing statistic from the Carnegie Mellon Green Practices Initiative: “If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.” 45,000 football fields! If you have been to any football game recently, you know how huge we’re talking here.
During each holiday season, defined as the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, “the average American household increased its trash output by 25%, resulting in 5 million extra tons of garbage,” writes Howard in the same article. Luckily, there’s a few tips and tricks to make sure your own house isn’t increasing its waste output.
Reused materials save wrapping paper and prevent waste, but that doesn’t mean they have to be plain. Fabric and yarn wrappings are quickly growing in popularity, and can be retrieved and stored up for next year. I tried fabric wrapping myself this year, and I have to say it adds a professional look that my paper wrappings are sorely lacking.
If you keep your holiday decorations and ornaments together, add an extra bag to store ribbon, paper, and bows for next year. Not only will you reduce the amount of garbage you put out to the curb after Christmas, you will also save money.
For paper and decorations you can’t reuse, don’t forget to recycle. In another piece by The Daily Green, Howard writes, “The trick is to prepare by having a box or bag ready, so when everyone starts tearing through their presents under the tree in an ecstatic frenzy, you can easily divert the scraps into one convenient location.”
If everyone followed these simple steps this year, together we could make our holidays more environmentally friendly. Have more great tips? Let us know on our Facebook page!