Seasons greetings neighbors! December is upon us and preparing for a joyous holiday season can leave a mountain of waste in our One Big Bins. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans toss 25 percent more trash than during the rest of the year. All of that extra waste adds up to one million more tons of trash generated every week until 2018!
But with a little bit of planning and some out-of-the-bin thinking, we can add a dash more sustainability to the season without sacrificing any of the holiday cheer!
Here are 5 cheerful ways to reduce waste this holiday season:
1. Celebrate with a living Christmas tree
Although we all cherish the sweet pine smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree, there are about 25-30 million trees sold in U.S. every year for the holidays, which fills a large amount of landfill space at the end of the season. This year, consider buying a potted tree that can be planted or donated after the holidays. Visit your local nursery and ask advice on which trees grow best in your region. A Christmas tree planting at the end of the season is a great way to preserve the holiday cheer all year long.
2. Recycle your disposable tree with One Big Bin
If you do decide to buy a fresh-cut tree, One Big Bin makes it easy to recycle after the holidays. For trees that can be cut down to four feet or smaller, you can add them to your green waste cans for curbside pickup or drop them off at any of these convenient locations. Please make sure to remove all ornaments and lights prior to recycling. Also, we don’t accept flocked trees (trees sprayed with artificial snow). We will make sure your used Christmas tree will be recycled into compost so you can start your eco-friendly new year the right way.
3. Choose earth-friendly holiday greetings
When putting together your holiday greeting list, try choosing greeting cards made of recycled paper instead of fancier options. In the U.S. alone, 1.5 billion Christmas cards are sent each year. If you avoid cards with shiny coatings, decorated with gold foil or cards with glossy covers, a lot of that waste can be recycled. And if you really want to reduce waste, consider sending an electronic greeting card to loved ones instead. They get to enjoy your best wishes almost instantly and you can use your extra stamp money on another gift!
4. Be creative with your gifts and wrapping paper
Instead of giving the traditional disposable knickknacks as stocking-stuffers or buying retail gifts with large amounts of packaging, we challenge you to think of different ways to give that don’t generate a whole lot of waste. Try giving homemade baked goods instead or a zero-waste gift like tickets to a live experience, such as a concert, play or sporting event. But if you do buy a gift from the store, consider wrapping it in a scarf or old calendar pages to reduce the waste from wrapping paper. The web is full of stylish, waste-cutting alternatives to wrapping paper, and here are just a few.
5. Recycle your old electronics with One Big Bin
One of the exciting parts about the modern holiday season is receiving all sorts of different, amazing technology as gifts. Whether it’s a shiny new computer, the latest smartphone or tablet or a new hi-definition television, getting brand new devices means you now have a lot of out-of-date or broken electronics piling up in your garage. Help reduce waste by using free curbside pickup to haul all the old stuff away and make space for all your brand new toys. Or bring them to one of our convenient drop-off locations.
Follow our tips above or do a little exploring on the web to find some great ways to reduce waste while still keeping your home full of cheer. From our family to yours, we hope you have a warm and joyous holiday season!