With Thanksgiving already behind us, we are preparing for the New Year holiday period. This is the time of the year we decorate our houses and yards, plan trips to see family and friends, buy gifts and cards, and plan delicious festive meals and parties. Even though this year is different because of the pandemic, we all still love the holiday season.
The amount of trash we generate in our homes increases significantly at this time of the year as we are encouraged to buy extra food, gifts for family and friends, and stock up on drinks. Here are some tips for you to follow if you are interested in reducing the amount of trash your household generates during this time. By taking even small steps to reduce our waste can have a positive impact on our environment.
How Much Waste is Created Over the Holiday Season?
This wonderful holiday season comes at a cost to the environment with a dramatic increase in the amount of trash, from packaging to plastics, we generate in our homes. The more we are able to recycle, the less will find its way into our landfills. This will curb the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, which prove so harmful to our environment.
Here are some of the amounts of trash we generate at this time of the year.
- Americans throw out an extra 25% of trash in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, which is 1 million extra tons of trash a week.
- The US Postal Service delivers an estimated 15 billion pieces of mail during the holiday season. That is a lot of packaging and paper.
- 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees will be bought in the US, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
- Americans spend more than $7million on wrapping paper per year and most of this will end up in the trash cans after the gifts are opened.
Food in particular is wasted in huge amounts during the holidays. We love our special holiday recipes, and we tend to over cater for these special occasions.
- 68 million turkeys find their way onto our dinner tables over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- We will waste about 200 million pounds of this turkey and this will find its way into our trash cans.
How to Reduce Household Waste over the Festive Season
It is easy for our good recycling habits to desert us while we are busy entertaining. Much of this extra household trash may find its way into our landfills to the detriment of our fight against global warming. It is therefore essential for each of us to do whatever we can to make our holiday activities more sustainable.
Here are some ways we can achieve this.
A Clever Choice of Gifts
Part of this season that means the most to us is exchanging gifts, but if we choose gifts that people will use instead of something that could end up in the trash, this will already make a difference.
- Who doesn’t love chocolates, homemade cookies, or a good bottle of wine or spirits? A great gift that will be used so not much trash here.
- Make a donation to a favourite charity as a gift for your friend who has everything. This is a win-win situation.
- Give an experience as a gift. A luxury spa treatment, theatre tickets, or a museum membership, are a few ideas.
- Gift someone with a voucher from a local restaurant or a local shop. This ensures that local businesses stay afloat during this difficult economic time.
- A beautiful house plant is guaranteed to make any homeowner happy.
- An online gift voucher, or a voucher from a favourite store so they can choose their own gift.
Green Ways of Wrapping Gifts
Use your imagination when wrapping your gifts by using recycled or reusable materials.
- Use a reusable shopping bag, or a beautiful scarf and make the wrapping part of the gift. Hide unwrapped gifts around the house for a fun treasure hunt for the kids.
- Use recycled or recyclable wrapping paper and, or gift bags that can be reused.
- Let your children decorate plain brown paper or paper bags from the store to use as unique gift wrap.
Decorate for a Green Christmas
- Use a natural, locally farmed Christmas tree if possible. If you have an artificial Christmas tree, pack it away carefully after Christmas to reuse next year.
- Put your LED lights on timers and switch them off when you go to bed.
- Try making your own decorations using plants, branches, and berries from your garden or neighborhood or look for recycled decorations in thrift shops.
Entertaining Guests without the Garbage
- Avoid using disposable plates, glasses, or cutlery at your festive occasions. Use reusable tablecloths and napkins.
- Encourage guests to take away any leftovers to cut back on your waste.
- Have a container for guests to dispose of their food scraps and add these to your compost or worming bin instead of throwing these out with your household garbage.
- Put different colored bins out for the easy recycling of bottles, plastic, and paper. This will cut down on cleaning up time.
Dealing with Christmas Waste
- Keep your Christmas packaging and boxes ready for reuse for next Christmas.
- Recycle your plastic, paper, cardboard, and glass.
- Junk Removal Mechanicsburg can help you with the safe and responsible disposal of all your Christmas waste, and we will recycle where possible.
Why Use Junk Removal Mechanicsburg PA?
At Junk Removal Mechanicsburg we are here to assist you disposing of your holiday trash as efficiently as possible. We know it is that time of year when households generate more trash than usual. Don’t let your household junk build up to unmanageable levels during the Holiday season if the municipal collections cannot keep up. We can collect your waste after hours,at weekends, and even offer a same day junk removal service. We’re a licensed waste removal company, and will dispose of your unwanted garbage in a responsible manner, recycling where we can.
Contact us for a free, no obligation quote and indicate the pick-up times that will fit in with your schedule.
Call us at the following number: 717 988 0997