30 million Christmas trees are cut down each holiday season in the US. Consider getting a potted tree that you can plant when Christmas is over. After the holidays are over, don’t just throw your tree in the trash. Many communities collect Christmas trees and turn them into mulch or wood chips.
Tip #2: Make Your Own Decorations
It’s easy to make your own holiday decorations- paper chains, clementine wreaths, pine cones, and paper snowflakes will add festive cheer without heading for the landfill.
Gifting an experience, like tickets to a museum or dinner reservations, reduces packaging waste and often makes for a more memorable gift, too. If you have to gift something tangible this year, vote with your dollar by purchasing from a B Corp - these are companies that commit to social and environmental change.
Tip #5: Reduce Food Waste at Holiday Parties and Dinners
Americans waste an extra 5 million pounds of uneaten food each year from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. That’s enough food to feed over 500 people throughout an entire year. To prevent food waste, and to save money, spend time carefully planning your recipes and grocery shopping lists this year. You can also use the Guestimator(they have vegetarian recipe ideas too!), which is an online tool that will help you plan to prepare less food by estimating exactly what you’ll need. In addition, be sure to offer guests containers to take home, freeze leftovers that can be used in other recipes, and compost any unwanted leftovers.
Tip #6: Rethink Wrapping Paper & Ribbon
If every family in the US wrapped just 3 gifts in reusable materials, we could save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Most store-bought wrapping paper is not recyclable because of its shiny coating. Instead of wrapping paper, wrap presents in old maps, newspaper, or catalogues. Or use reusable materials like a scarf, dish towel, or blanket - these things all make gifts as well! Plus, if every household in the US used 2 ft. less of ribbon, we could save about 38,000 miles of ribbon waste. That’s enough ribbon to tie a bow around the Earth, which is 24,901 miles in circumference.
Tip #7: Slow Down On Fast Fashion
Americans buy twice as many clothes as we did in 2000, and only wear them half as long. If you’re buying any clothing gifts this year, choose to shop from fair trade and ethical “slow fashion” clothing brands, or shop second-hand vintage.
Tip #8: Find a Home for Unwanted Gifts
According to a study by Finder, 3.69% of Americans admit to throwing away unwanted gifts. If you receive gifts you weren’t wishing for this year, don’t just toss them into the trash. Instead, give them to a friend or donate them to a local charity.
Tip #9: Give Rechargable Batteries With Gifts
Approximately 40% of all battery sales happen during the holidays. If these batteries are not rechargeable, they will likely end up in a landfill once they run out of power.
As a society, we’ve shifted the meaning of the holidays from giving to getting. In honor of Giving Tuesday this year, choose to give back however you can, whether that’s donating your time in a local soup kitchen or donating some money to a great organization. If you’re looking for organizations to donate to this season, we recommend giving to one of the non-profit organizations we support through our giving program.