I can hardly believe Christmas is almost here! As we count down the days, make purchases, order online, get bows, wrapping paper, and boxes, it makes sense that we create 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's than the rest of the year! There are tons of ways we can be a more Eco Friendly Christmas Cookie by following some easy advice during the holidays. I will be sharing tips on social media over the next 10 days but for those of you checking out my blog you can get a few extra! Shhh! Check out the below tips!
1.) Use your own reusable shopping bag! I love the big sturdy bags at TJ Maxx that they have at the checkout! It is so easy to pick one up for $0.99 and then use them when I shop at Aldi (another one of my favorite stores) and then I don't have a ton of plastic bags. When you are out and about shopping, one of those big sturdy bags can be so handy because it A.) holds more than a little bag. B.) It will slide onto your shoulder for an easier balance when walking. C.) You don't come home with 20 bags that you need to take back to the store to recycle!
2.) Use recyclable wrapping paper or other creative wrapping products. Have you ever considered using fabric to wrap? Neither had I until I found it online. It is so pretty and dainty and then it is just folded up and used for next year. If you purchase paper made from recycled paper you are already doing a good thing but then recycle it again and you are doing double good deeds. I love gift giving in reusable bags as well! My Mama has always given me some kind of fun bag I can use grocery shopping or around town every year and now I do the same! I love using the cute boxes and my boys get excited to know they have something in them. Do you have someone who is a gardener? Consider putting their gift in a pot they can use in the Spring for some new flowers! Lastly, for bows and toppers, burlap is always nice to use over and over again. Try cutting some fresh holly and berries as well as greenery to put on top of the gift versus metallic bows you can't recycle.
3.) Remember, not everything is recyclable so do not just put it in the bin thinking it is okay. Putting non-recyclable products in the recycle bin can cause much added work the the processors, so know what products your facility accepts. Unfortunately my local facility does not accept glass so putting this in there is a waste of my time and theirs. Christmas lights and tinsel/garland are NOT recyclable so do not put them in there. Consider using your garland, tinsel, old stockings and Santa hats as wrappers for fragile Christmas decorations and ornaments. You are going to have to wrap them anyway, so why not use that as a buffer. My old garland protects all of my beautiful Nutcrackers so they do not hit each other during the year. Lastly, on the note of Christmas lights, consider switching over to LED. They last longer and are more efficient, thus using less energy!
4.) Recycle your Christmas tree! Though you cannot stuff your tree into the recycle bin (though I would love to watch someone try!) many cities offer programs to turn your tree into mulch or wood chips. Check with your local fire department or city hall to see if your town offers this service. If you live near a pond or lake, consider taking it there to put in the water for the fish to use as a hide out and help their Eco system.
You can visit the National Christmas Tree Association at the below link for some other great options! http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/All-About-Trees/How-to-Recycle
5.) Recycle your old electronics! So you got a brand new cellphone or tablet during the holidays? Great, what do you do with the old one? Consider dropping it off at your local Staples store as part of the Sierra Club cellphone recycling program or check out one the many buy back programs online and in stores. If you live near or work at a college, check out their sustainability program or contact the local IT department. They could also help you find out how to recycle the products.
According to Small Footprint Family, https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com, every year over 130 million cellphones are thrown out, weighing almost 65,000 tons! That is crazy and so preventable!
Stay tuned when I give out 5 more great tips for the holiday season! We can easily be more Eco friendly during the holidays if we all take the time to research our products and do our part!