Fun and earth-friendly holidays

Winter celebrations are tons of fun. But they leave behind a lot of extra trash — from Thanksgiving dinner’s leftovers to gift wrap and boxes and decorations for New Year’s Eve. We love to celebrate with friends and family. And we delight in giving gifts and sending holiday greeting cards.

We can keep all these traditions and take better care of our earth during the holiday season. At the same time, these tips add even more fun. Here are some ideas for decreasing trash and making the best holiday memories yet!

We’ve shown how to wrap gifts without creating waste. Here are some tips for decorating and hosting this year.

• If you haven’t made the switch yet, use LED lights for outside and inside decorating. They are 90% more efficient than other bulbs and will save money. They also last longer during the months of storage between holiday seasons, and they don’t get hot, so they are safer. Contact your local solid waste authority to see if your community has a program to recycle your old strands of Christmas lights.
• Decorate a tree in your yard or neighborhood for the birds. Hang seed bells, suet blocks, and pine cones covered in peanut butter and bird seed. Be sure to use a variety of wild bird seed, black oil sunflower seeds, and thistle. Then gather with your family to watch the varieties of birds that visit.
• When you decorate inside, bring in the outside. Bring in garlands of greenery from your own trees or a local nursery. They will add fresh smells and pretty colors to your home. Use strings of cranberries and popcorn to decorate mantles and trees.
• Decorate your party table with seasonal plants that you can send home with guests as a gift.
• Be sure to place well-marked recycling containers near trash containers and close to the food and drink tables.
• Instead of using single-use paper and plastic plates and serving products, use your party as an excuse to get out the fancy dishes and silverware. If your family doesn’t own enough to serve all the guests, ask a neighbor or family member if you can borrow some. Setting the table with different types of plates and glasses can be fun and trendy.
• Always send home leftover food in reusable containers with your guests.

Photo: JulieWild |iStock | Getty Images Plus

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