Tips for reducing waste during the holidays
Templeton Community Services District releases tips to cut waste during holiday season
–From gift wrap to colorful string lights to trees, the holiday season is one during which the most waste is produced. Approximately 1.5 billion cards are mailed over the holiday season in the United States alone, requiring a remarkable number of 300,000 new trees to be harvested every year. Additionally, 33 million live holiday trees – most of which get thrown away – are sold in the U.S. annually according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The following tips, released by the Templeton Community Services District, can help reduce waste during the holidays:
- Make your gatherings zero-waste by using real, reusable dishes and ditching disposable dishes and cutlery. It may be inconvenient in the short- run, but it is worth it in the long-run since you will be decreasing landfill waste.
- Look for recycled-content products and buy recycled greeting cards. Remember to recycle any paper cards you receive if you decide not to keep them. Reduce waste by skipping out on tissue papers, bows and ribbons.
- Instead of buying rolls and rolls of new wrapping paper, consider wrapping gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper. Get creative by wrapping them up in newspaper, maps, posters, etc. It’ll provide a distinctive, personalized touch. Another creative way to give a gift is by putting it in a reusable bag. The bag may count as part of the gift, as the receiver can save it and use it for future trips to the grocery store or as needed.
- Consider products’ durability when searching for gifts. The more durable a gift is the better spent your money is, the more impressed the gift-receiver is, and the less likely it’ll be sent to the landfill in a short period of time.
- There are a few alternatives to cutting down and disposing of trees. For example, buy a potted tree and plant it once the holidays are over which can be a fun family activity. Or buy a reusable tree.
- Consider going LED on holiday lights. As compared to incandescent lights, LED lights decrease energy use by 80-percent and last much longer. Remember to also turn off and unplug lights during the day, and don’t forget to properly dispose of old lights.
- Buying rechargeable batteries to accompany electronic gifts and giving a battery charger along with the gift shows you put extra thought towards the gift and reflects your concern for sustainability.
Mid-State Solid Waste will be collecting trees on regularly scheduled collection days for Templeton residents. Make sure to remove all tinsel and decorations, cut the trees into 4-foot or smaller lengths, and place them in green waste carts.
Any questions may be directed to Templeton Community Services District Conservation Technician Maria Kisyova, at (805) 434-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.