The season of holiday cheer is here!
Whether you’re decorating your tree, sharing a Kwanzaa feast, dreaming of next year’s Hanukkah, or celebrating other winter solstice or cultural traditions meaningful to you, we hope the season is filled with love and light for you and yours.
For many, this season is filled with festive food, gifts, events, and time with family and friends. Unfortunately, these practices also can lead to more waste. It is estimated that in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, Americans throw away about 25% more trash than during any other time of the year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage or about 1 million extra tons per week. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
According to Stanford University, if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Read on for some more ideas to make your holiday season greener!
Shopping local not only improves your community, but it’s also better for the environment! When you buy food produced locally, fewer fossil fuels are needed to transport the product from its place of origin to your home. Choosing products that have been sustainably produced, are reusable, and have carbon-neutral shipping can go a long way towards better protecting the earth.
Giving a gift? Focus more on experiences and less on material items. Use leftover gift bags or old calendar pages, outdated maps, comics, or paper grocery bags as wrapping paper. Perhaps you can wrap your present WITH a present like a tea towel, bandana, or t-shirt!
Holiday trees: real or artificial?
Recipes and recipe kits
Gift certificates or memberships to local experiences
- Save the front of holiday cards you receive and use them the following year as decorative labels for your gifts. You’ll have fun picking out the best one in the stack for each gift!
- Check out TisBest.com. This charity-focused gift allows the recipient to pick out the charity(ies) they want a donation to go to. And any 501(c)(3) organization can receive the donation (Yes, even us!).
- And of course, if you want to make a donation to SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve in someone’s name, we’ll put that to good use protecting our wild spaces and providing people with experiences that keep them connected to nature!