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What Can I Do?

Monday, Dec. 5, 2011

More waste is produced between Thanksgiving and New Years then any time of the year - about 6 million added tons nationwide (equivalent to 48 million 6 foot Christmas trees)! In order to be eco-friendly this holiday try reducing the amount of waste that enters landfills by giving "service" goods that require little natural resources. For example, give your family and friends tickets to games, concerts, massages, music lessons, gym memberships, and/or yoga classes. The possibilities are endless, and you not only reduce the amount of waste but also help stimulate your local economy.

When gift giving this season, remember that it is important to reuse materials in the gift wrapping process. Use old magazines and newspaper clippings to wrap gifts. To save wrapping paper use old shoe and fruit boxes as containers. Wrap both the lid and box with paper, that way the paper doesn't rip and you can reuse the box and paper many times. Another creative gift wrapping solution would be to give presents in reusable grocery bags, incentivizing your friends into using reusable bags as they go holiday shopping.

Become more energy efficient by recycling old incandescent Christmas lights. Many companies, like Home Depot, offer discounts on new LED lights when you turn in your old incandescent.

Respect nature by buying a potted Christmas tree this year so that you can plant and/or reuse it every year. This will decrease the amount of unnecessary logging of 50 million Christmas trees in the United States every year. Each acre of Christmas trees produces enough daily oxygen for 18 people, so you're helping humanity as well.

Sources: http://1st-ecofriendlyplanet.com/12/christmas-waste/

Compiled by Christiane Sanicola, '12, Sustainability Intern.

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