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5 Tips for a Waste-Less Holiday Season

5 Tips for a Waste-Less Holiday Season
December 21, 2017
It’s not surprising that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Between gift wrapping, plastic packaging, and single-use food-ware, it all adds up. Contrary to what the Grinch portrays, your garbage doesn’t get sent to Mount Crumpit. Rather it is transported to overburdened landfills, polluting incinerators, and accidentally discharged into our waterways. 
Here are a few eco-friendly ideas to make your holidays a little greener this year. 
1. Bring Your Own. BYO bag when grocery and gift shopping to avoid polluting plastic bags. Opt to use real silverware and plates instead of single-use, throwaway cups, plates, and utensils that live for hundreds of years in our environment. Skip the straw when you’re at a bar or restaurant.  
 
2. Reuse wrapping. Don’t be so quick to purge wrapping paper and gift bags! Waste less by reusing them. 
 
3. Redefine gift wrapping.  Using material you have around the house like old maps, pretty glossy magazines, newspaper comic strips, and old calendars. Bonus: You’ll be de-cluttering at the same time! 
 
4. Support Green and Local Business.  Excess packaging goes hand in hand with the convenience of online shopping. Consider shopping local shops and craft fairs to reduce the amount of packaging you’re bringing home. Amazon also offers “frustration-free packaging” for some of its products.
 
5. Recycle your Christmas tree. Try transforming your tree into mulch or placing it in your yard for bird and squirrel habitat. Christmas trees are also used as artificial dunes at local beaches to prevent erosion. To locate Christmas tree recycling centers and services in your neighborhood, type in your ZIP code here. Mulchfest in NYC is scheduled for January 6-7. Click here for details. 
 
Sandra Meola
Communications and Outreach Director
NY/NJ Baykeeper