Reduce Your Household Waste Around The Holidays With These Strategies

Posted on: 20 July 2016

For the good of the environment, it's advantageous to minimize the amount of household waste that you generate throughout the week and put out at your curb on garbage day. While you can use a variety of strategies throughout the year, it's especially important to avoid making excessive waste around the holidays. A post-holidays drive through your neighborhood on garbage day will reveal just how much waste people are discarding, but you don't have to be among this demographic. With some careful strategies, it's possible to dramatically reduce your waste at this time of the year.

Use Cloth Bags, Not Wrapping Paper

When it comes to preparing your gifts to put under the tree, skip the wrapping paper. It's easy to waste several square feet of wrapping paper, along with a sizable amount of tape, to wrap just a few presents, and these wrapping accessories will be quickly thrown in the trash as soon as the gift is open. Instead, invest in some festive cloth bags of a variety of different sizes that you can use to hold the gifts. These can be reused year after year and won't end up in the garbage can.

Decorate With Living Plants

While it might be tempting to buy plastic poinsettias and holly to adorn your home around the holidays, these will eventually end up in the trash once they break or begin to look tacky a few years down the road. To make your home feel festive, buying actual living plants--a poinsettia in a recyclable container or a few pieces of cut ivy--will effectively adorn your home and can be composted at the end of the holidays, rather than placed in the landfill.

Donate Extra Food

It can be easy to end up with an excess amount of food around the holidays. Instead of throwing it in the trash, consider donating it to your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. While food banks ask for canned and packaged items, soup kitchens and homeless shelters will often take cooked things. This means that if you end up with too many mashed potatoes, for example, you can quickly donate them so that people can enjoy them.

Buy Used Gifts

Buying used gifts can be friendly to your wallet and to the environment. The benefit to used items is that they're often sold without their packaging, which means that each gift won't include packaging that ends up in the trash. Visit your local secondhand store and find toys, clothing and books to give to those on your shopping list. For more information on trash services, however, contact a company like Powell's  Trash Service.