Less waste, more cheer!

Here we go! The holiday hustle-bustle is upon us. Wish lists are circulating, decorations are appearing, and cards are going in the mail. It’s time to make your plan to reduce, reuse, and recycle “all the way!

Here are some tips to make your holiday season merry, bright, and low-waste.

• Send holiday greetings and party invitations by email or use post-consumer recycled paper for cards.
• Plan meals carefully to waste less food and share leftovers with your guests.
• Use durable, washable dishes and serving ware and be sure to provide recycling bins at all holiday events.
• Carry your own shopping bags to the grocery store and the mall.
• Shop secondhand first, seeking out unique used goods. Or buy crafts and goods made close to home and keep your money working in your community.
• Select gifts with minimal packaging or give experiences, such as event tickets or destination passes. Consider personal coupons for doing the dishes, walking the dog, a home-cooked meal, babysitting or hugs and kisses!
• Consider alternative gift-giving, such as charitable donations. Search online for local non-profits such as those that plant trees or those abroad that supply a farm animal or micro loan to help families become self-sustainable.
• Reuse gift bags, ribbons, bows, and tags from year to year. Remember to safe gently used wrapping paper for reuse next year. Or incorporate the gift into the wrapping by using a scarf, tie, cloth bag, shirt or hat.
• Convert old holiday cards into gift tags or decorations and use shredded paper as packing material in shipping gifts.
• Make room for new gifts by donating old items to a locally-owned thrift store or charitable organization.
• Include rechargeable batteries with electronic gadgets or flashlights to encourage others to make the switch.
• Recycle your fresh holiday tree after the holidays. Remove all decorations and the stand before setting your bare tree out for collection or taking it to a dropoff location. Check with your local solid waste management district for details about collection in your community.

Photo credit: kajakiki | iStock | Getty Images Plus

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