Waste Management encourages going green this holiday season

Halen Doughty

With all the celebration, gifts, and meals of the holiday season comes festivities and cheer. But that comfort and joy also creates a lot of waste. Waste Management offers tips to reduce your waste during the holidays.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's. The extra waste produced during the holidays amounts to one million additional tons of trash per week.

We can all save time and money while reducing our impact on the environment by looking for more creative, sustainable gift options and practicing “thinking green” during the holidays,” said Tricia Farace, Waste Management community relations manager - Gulf Coast Area. “Whether it’s buying products made from recycled content and organic material or avoiding using disposable items to serve food on, we can all make a positive impact in waste reduction during the holiday season.”

Buying recycled or organic products can substantially cut down on waste. Look for reusable bags or clothing made from recycled materials. Many stores sell these products in stores and online.

Gifts don't always have to include waste. Try giving no-waste gifts like concert and sporting event tickets, music lessons, or gym memberships. Potted plants and trees provide a beautiful reminder of the holidays throughout the year, while also benefitting the environment.

Not all wrapping paper is recyclable, but there are plenty of alternatives. Try earth-friendly wrapping like scarves, handkerchiefs, old newspapers, and repurposed gift bags. Ribbons and bows can be replaced with natural evergreens and dried flowers.

Don't forget to recycle your Christmas tree, garland, and wreaths when the holidays are over. Mulching tress is a great alternative to disposing, and the mulch can be donated to local gardens.

By committing to going green, you can use the holiday season to create new traditions that preserve the environment for future generations.

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