From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. In the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. (Source: EPA) You can reduce your environmental impact during the holidays by making a commitment to follow a few easy practices. Have a happy, sustainable holiday season!
- Gift certificates to local museums, restaurants, theaters, etc. are a great idea. Oryana has convenient gift cards available. Or give the gift of local experiences, such as, ski passes or tickets to a local concert or play.
- Consider giving a gift that is eco-friendly, such as items made with recycled content, items that are locally produced, organic, and/or fair-trade. Instead of buying an item from a chain store, buy gifts from a local business or co-op. Oryana has many sustainably produced, unique gift items.
- Get creative with gift wrapping; If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Try newspaper, butcher paper, or reuse tissue paper.
- Send ecards – An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the U.S., enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Electronic holiday greeting cards, offered through a variety of websites, are a convenient, waste-free alternative.
- Buy rechargeable batteries – About 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well.
- Make your own gifts. Edible gifts like breads, cookies, canned goods, jams/jellies, or herbed vinegars make fantastic gifts. Consult Pinterest, which has countless gift ideas that you can create. Visit Oryana’s Pinterest page for great ideas.
- Make a donation to a non-profit organization in the name of your loved one.
- Use compostible cutlery, plates, and cups for holiday parties. Oryana sells compostible foodware.