Today, November 15, 2019 we celebrate America Recycles Day and promote and celebrate recycling efforts in the U.S. With the holidays ahead of us, this is the perfect opportunity to be mindful of waste and the environmental impact and importance of recycling.
We decided to narrow our focus on today’s blog post to recycling over the holidays as, “Americans throw away 25% more garbage from Thanksgiving to Christmas”. Below are some easy changes to make daily both at work and at home this holiday season.
- When entertaining, take an extra few minutes in your planning to make it easy for guests to recycle. Hang a sign or use a blue recycling bag to direct guests accordingly.
- Holiday shop with reusable bags and combine gifts in the same shopping bags to use less paper/plastic.
- For gifting, save boxes, bags, ribbons, bows, et., from season to season and or recycle what you can’t use properly. A Stanford study revealed that “If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.”
- When wrapping, combine multiple gifts in the same box or bag. Also think about creative ways to wrap using materials at home, i.e. magazines, newspapers, old maps, bags, and books or display gifts in tins, baskets, jars, and or other reusable containers. Instead of decorating with bows, think about using a tree trimming, string, or paint to decorate, more ideas here.
- When decorating use LED lights or solar-powered lights, they use less energy than regular lights, and they are more durable and reliable!
- Use holiday cards made of recycled paper or think about sending an E-Card or making a phone call instead “The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper” (Stanford)
- When gifting, think about offering experiences as opposed to gifts to reduce waste, i.e. memberships, gift certificates, tickets or homemade gifts.
- For holiday office parties, think about being minimal with decorations and using compostable or ecofriendly disposables.
- Use cloth table covers and napkins whenever possible.
For more on America Recycles Day, visit the EPA here