Christmas is responsible for more waste and consumption than any other holiday. In the United States, trash increases by 25% over Christmas! This means 25 million extra tons of garbage are going to our landfills. That is an incredible amount of waste being generated. The urgency to do something has become apparent. A truly useful or environmentally friendly gift is a much better, ecological choice. Below is a brief list of ideas to inspire you and help you reduce waste this Christmas.
How To Reduce Waste This Christmas
Gifts for Homeowners that Reduce Waste
Do you know a homeowner and aren’t sure what to buy them for Christmas?
You can try these ideas to reduce waste:
- Thermostat control that automatically turns the heat down at night in their home
- A low flow shower head attachment
- A draft cozy (placed in front of doors to prevent drafts)
- Tubes of caulking or weather-stripping
- Dimmer switches or compact fluorescent bulbs
- Hot water tank and hot water pipe insulation kits.
- Tune-up or tire rotation services
Gifts For The Gardener
There are many gifts you can give for the gardener that can reduce waste also!
- Subscription to an organic gardening magazine
- Membership to a seed organization
- Bird, bat and butterfly houses
- Birdbaths and feeders
- Patterns to build feeders and houses
- A composting worm bin
- A membership with an environmental group.
- Services such as lawn care
- Cleaning package
- Prepaid Diaper Service
Other Entertainment Gifts That Reduce Waste
Try some of these suggestions for friends and family that may be hard to buy for otherwise. These make great gifts but reduce waste at the landfill at the same time.
- Tickets to a performance
- Restaurant gift certificates
- Music lessons
- Exercise Passes
- Dance classes
Gift Basket Themed Ideas:
Gift baskets are perfect for an individual or the couple that you don’t know what to buy for. Using a pretty basket means the person or persons receiving the gift will reduce waste by reusing the basket.
Suggestions for gift baskets:
- Dehydrated, canned or preserved foods make excellent gifts
- Frozen dishes are treasured by those that find cooking tasks cumbersome
- Brazil or cashew nuts as they promote a living tropical rainforest
- A reusable coffee filter and whole organic coffee beans.
There are so many ways you can reduce waste this Christmas, and still purchase gifts for those you love. Imagine if everyone practiced giving these types of gifts. But you are not limited to the gifts mentioned above!
Ideas For You To Reduce Waste During Christmas
If you choose to purchase electronics, consider those powered by solar or rechargeable batteries. For holiday photo memories using a digital camera and getting pictures put on CD’s reduces chemicals, paper, and cost. Choosing 36 exposure film rolls reduces packaging and waste.
Consider a live tree. At the end of the season, donate it to individuals, the city, schools or parks. Plant it in your own yard for privacy, shade or erosion control.
Do you have any suggestions for reducing waste this Christmas? I would love to hear them!
The biggest way to reduce waste at Christmas is to ban wrapping paper. Many kinds are not recyclable because of the glitter and the coatings. Even if it is recyclable, we had a bad windstorm the pick up day after Christmas and our street was a nightmare of blown around paper from the recycling boxes. My family uses fabric bags. You can use them for other things throughout the year and come Christmas you get all new patterns to use next year as you trade bags through gift giving. I always make up a couple new bags each year to freshen up our collection. This year I’m giving supplies for zero waste grocery shopping as my gifts. Muslin, mesh, waterproof, drawstring, zippered, custom sized, colour coded, plus jars permanently marked with their tare weights.
What an awesome way to reduce waste! My sister makes cloth bags for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas and I love them! Thanks for the tips and for taking the time to share your comments!