Happy America Recycles Day!

Its pretty appropriate that this year's America Recycles Day falls exactly one week before Thanksgiving. Not just because I give thanks for the invention of recycling, but because Thanksgiving is a time when its particularly easy to forget to recycle. In fact, the holiday season is so busy, many people completely neglect the green piece.

If you want to learn more about America Recycles Day go HERE. If you want some stimulating advice on how to maintain the "America Recycles Day" ethos during the holidays, scroll down.

Thanksgiving: I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time. My family isn't a tree hugging group, so I have to come up with ways to integrate eco-thinking that aren't too intrusive. Here's my plan...
  1. Only use reuseable dishes and glass ware - While it is tempting to run out and purchase stacks of paper plates, plastic cups, paper napkins, and plastic utensils to cut-down on dishwashing, ignore that impulse. You will save a lot of money by using reuseable dishes. Plus, all that gravy will just cause paper plates to cave-in.

  2. Provide Separate, Labeled Garbage Cans for Recycling - I plan on serving pumpkin beer at my Thanksgiving get-together. There will also be a few two liter containers of soda. Inevitably, people will be helping out in the kitchen and throwing garbage away. Plus, those bargain hunters will be shuffling through the newspaper looking for Black Friday deals. Make it intuitive for your guests to help your recycling effort by putting out 3 separate garbage cans labeled for Glass/Plastic, Paper, and Other.

  3. Buy Local, Organic Food - Your guests may never know it, but you certainly will be proud of yourself if you visit the Farmer's Market this weekend and pick-up the fruits, vegetables, wine and turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Everything will be pesticide free and fresh from your "backyard." This action reduces the packaging waste, oil consumption, and foreign farming that grocery store chains induce.

Holiday Giving: Like it or not, gift giving is an inevitable part of the holidays. There are some things you can do during the holidays to cut down on waste and be a greener Santa.

  1. Less Packaging is More Packaging - Many items purchased during the holidays are notoriously over-packaged. This is especially true for toys. When you are looking for the perfect gift, keep in mind how much plastic and cardboard is being used to package that gift. Look for outdoors toys that aren't heavily packaged like bikes, wagons, etc. Or buy gift cards for services like iTunes or Netflix.

  2. Avoid Excessive Gift Wrap - How many yards of gift wrap did you use last year? Imagine, taken together, how much gift wrap is used each year to wrap holiday gifts. Its unimagineable the amount of paper that will go directly to the dump just so our gifts look pretty for one moment. There are ways to avoid this situation. First, look for recycled gift wrap. Second, in place of traditional gift wrap, wrap gifts in a dark colored tissue paper and use less pieces. Third, avoid gift wrap altogether where it is unnecessary (use gift cards instead).

No comments:

Post a Comment