Celebrate the Holidays with Less Waste

The amount of extra waste generated during the holidays is astonishing. Studies reveal waste is increased by 25% percent between Thanksgiving and New Years. This means that a total of 6 million tons of holiday waste will be created this season.  Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.

When shopping, don’t forget to bring your reusable bags with you!

Potted_Xmas_TreesTo help prevent waste from cutting down and disposing of live trees, you can buy a potted tree and plant it after the holidays.

When giving flowers as gifts, consider buying long-lasting silk flowers, potted plants, or live bushes, shrubs, or trees that can be planted in the spring as gifts.

Isn’t it nice when someone gives you a gift that was home made? Bake cookies or other goodies for your friends and loved ones and package them in reusable and/or recyclable containers as gifts. Homemade goodies show how much you care and help you avoid packaging waste.

Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or funny papers. Also remember to save or recycle used wrapping paper. Give gifts that don’t require much packaging, such as concert tickets or gift certificates.

christmasrecycledcardsSend recycled-content greeting cards to reduce the amount of virgin paper used during the holidays. Remember to recycle any paper cards you receive. You can also try sending electronic greeting cards to reduce paper waste.

About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.

Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day. Doing so will not only save energy, but will also help your lights last longer.

Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. After the holidays, look for ways to recycle your tree instead of sending it to a landfill.  For residents living in the City Limits here is the information for recycling your Christmas tree.

Funny Holiday Crafts (13)Have a create-your-own-decorations party! Invite family and friends to create and use holiday decorations such as ornaments made from old greeting cards or cookie dough, garlands made from strung popcorn or cranberries, wreaths made from artificial greens and flowers, and potpourri made from kitchen spices such as cinnamon and cloves.

Consider the durability of a product before you buy it as a gift. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing you money.

When buying gifts, check product labels to determine an item’s recyclability and whether it is made from recycled materials. Buying recycled encourages manufacturers to make more recycled-content products available.

 Holiday Parties

If you host a party, set the table with cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses, and silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often. Also save and reuse party hats, decorations, and favors.

After holiday festivities, put leftovers in recyclable containers, and share them with family, friends, or others. Donate whole, untouched leftovers from parties to a local food bank or homeless shelter.

Where possible, compost leftover food scraps, leaves, and grass clippings.

After parties, fill your dishwasher to capacity before running it. You will run fewer cycles, which saves energy.

Wash and reuse empty glass and plastic jars, milk jugs, coffee cans, dairy tubs, and other similar containers that would otherwise get thrown away. These containers can be used to store leftovers as well as buttons, nails, or other loose items.



This entry was posted on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 5:00 pm and is filed under City Manager, City of Watsonville, Homepage News, Public Works . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.