Everybody enjoys the holiday season, except for one vital entity in our lives: the mother nature. The garbage that we leave behind and the damage we make to the environment by partying and holidaying is almost equivalent to the crucifixion of planet earth. Recent estimates suggest that 1,000 pounds of trash per household are generated during holiday season.
A US company, Republic Services, specialists recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal, has come up with some tips to stay environment friendly during the holiday season.
Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services, says: “Many of us want to be better recyclers during the holidays, but we aren’t sure how or just don’t have the time. With a few simple steps during the holidays, we can all do our part to make environmentally responsible choices throughout the holiday season and help make a positive impact in our communities for generations to come.”
Here are the tips
- Save and reuse gift bags, ribbons and bows for next year—it is smart for the environment and for your wallet!
- Shipping gifts? Make shredded paper out of old newspapers and magazines, or be sure to reuse last year’s bubble wrap and foam peanuts.
- Think twice when it comes to wrapping paper. Standard wrapping paper should be recycled, but anything with glitter or foil belongs in the trash (or save it for next year!). Generally, the fancier the wrapping paper, the less recyclable it is.
- Getting a new device this holiday season? Make sure your old phone or tablet is not tossed in recycling. Check with your local service provider for special instructions or electronics recycling options.
- Common holiday items that do not belong in recycling include bubble wrap, cellophane, holiday ribbons and bows, batteries, food waste, clothing and shoes, holiday lights, electronics and foam packaging. All of these items and materials should be placed in a waste container, not recycled.
- Additionally, toy packaging made of heavy cardboard is only recyclable when the cardboard is separated from the plastic. This includes the plastic window on the box of a doll or action figure. Sticky gift tags are not recyclable by themselves, but they are acceptable if affixed to an envelope or wrapping paper. Check with your local service provider to ensure you are aware of any changes in holiday collection schedules and how to properly dispose of real Christmas trees.
Most of these tips are easy to practice and even cost efficient. If you show enough care, you can practice at least some of these tips during the holidays and reduce damage to the environment.