With shopping, parties, gift wrapping and cards, sustainability efforts are especially important during the holidays. According to National Geographic News and Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve every year. That’s an extra million tons of garbage per week, equalling 5 million extra tons of garbage for the season! Some of that weight is in holiday cards, 2.65 billion of them, enough to encircle the earth or to fill a football stadium field 100’ high, sold annually in the U.S.
Here are several simple sustainability tips to save money while helping the environment:
Let your neighbor do the extravagant Griswolds-style lighting display. Go simpler and use a controlled system timer; you’ll reduce energy costs dramatically.
Don’t trash those large cardboard boxes that your gifts may have come in. With scissors, tape and paint, a cardboard box becomes a beautiful fireplace for the holidays. Make an extra to bring to school or a children’s hospital.
Make your kitchen a plastic-free zone, even during the busy holidays. Use plates, bowls, mugs and utensils to reduce the amount of paper and plastic trash generated.
An estimated 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year; over 100 pounds per person. Our savvy move managers in New York recommend packing your own lunches and avoiding the treats. It saves money, waste … and your waistline.
- Maryann Daingerfield: “It is healthier than take out and much less expensive. My family uses glass travel mugs, reusable lunch bags and the least plastic packaging possible.”
- Lisa Graziosi: “I save money and I enjoy the food I bring better than ordering out.”
- Maureen Krasowski: “Nothing goes in the trash; it’s very green to bring my lunch.”
- Kathleen Conahan: “It’s the best way to eat healthy.”
From reusing materials to reducing our reliance on plastic, there are multiple ways to have a very green Christmas!