Tips And Tricks To Reduce Waste During The Holidays
By Valerie Procopio, intern with the N.C. Division of Water Resources
Did you know that during the holiday Americans create 25 percent more trash? In order to have a more environmentally friendly holiday season, here are some tips and tricks from the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Thousands of paper and plastic shopping bags fill landfills every year. Bring reusable, cloth shopping bags when shopping for holiday gifts. Don’t use a bag for small or oversized purchases. This will reduce the amount of paper and plastic bags deposited in landfills.
- Wrap gifts in recycled wrapping paper, reusable wrapping paper, or newspaper.
- About 300,000 trees must be harvested to create the 1.5 million cards sent during the holidays in the United States. Instead of mailing traditional paper cards, send email greeting cards. Also, recycle the paper greeting cards you receive.
- About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy reusable batteries and a battery charger and make sure to properly recycle single use batteries.
- Holiday lights use more than 2.2 megawatt hours of electricity during the holiday season in the United States. Make sure to turn off or unplug your holiday lights during the day.
- Approximately 33 million live trees are sold in the United States every year. Look for ways to recycle your Christmas tree after the holiday.
- Consider the durability of an item before purchasing it. A less durable item will wear out quickly and contribute to waste.
- Buy gifts that are recyclable to encourage manufacturers to make more recycled-content products.
For more information go to: http://www.epa.gov/osw/wycd/funfacts/winter.htm