Did you know that Americans produce more trash during the holidays than any other time of year? 25% more, to be exact. Between the wrapping paper, disposable plates and silverware, Christmas trees and cards, holiday lights and plastic shopping bags – it's hard to keep track of everything you dispose of during those busy months. The more we commit to glittery decor and disposable items, the less we realize the impact it's having on the environment.
This year, if you're thinking about to produce less waste and recycle more, here are a few easy ways you can be more environmentally friendly this holiday season:
Use eco-friendly wrapping paper.
Since most wrapping papers contain dyes, lamination or glitter, they are deemed non-recyclable and will head straight to the landfill. Wrap your presents with newspapers, paper bags – or make the wrapping part of the gift! You can use scarves, blankets or even reusable shopping bags.
Cut down on the food you buy. We all want to make extra just in case we’re still hungry. But when you over-estimate, that food may just end up in the trash. Before making a meal, try using a serving calculator to estimate how much food you need for guests. If you still have extras, encourage your guests to take food home and freeze the rest for later use.
Use LED lights for your home. Traditional incandescent and florescent bulbs use a ton of energy to light up your house each night. LEDs are up to 80% more efficient and last 10x longer than traditional lights. Plus, since they have a better light quality, a little goes a long way! You’ll still get that bright and cheerful look at night without the added environmental cost. Have old lights you would like to recycle? Call your county's recycling and waste center to see what they're accepting.
Buy a non-traditional gift. Instead of buying more "stuff," buy a gift that will give your friends and family memories! Consider a gift card to local museums, a theme park or even a relaxing day at a spa. They will appreciate the gesture and maybe even steal the idea for next year. Looking for other options? How about some food! Dessert recipes in a mason jar with all the ingredients inside work fantastically. You could also bake them fun holiday cookies!
Recycle your tree after the holidays. Call your local recycling centers to see if they accept Christmas trees. Just drop it off and they'll take care of the rest. Most of the time, the trees are simply chipped into mulch and used for public outdoor areas or parks. So not only are you safely disposing of the tree, you're also giving back to the community!
If you want to re purpose your tree, consider turning it into a bird sanctuary. Just place your tree in your backyard and hang up bird feeders from the branches. When spring arrives you can always chop up the tree, where the wood can later be used for mulch.
To learn more about how you can be eco-friendly during the holiday season, click here.
Happy holidays from everyone here at Simplified Insurance Agency!
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