Avoid waste by following tips for pursuing a green holiday
The Monroe County Recycling Green Community Program is providing tips for a “green holiday” season this month.
Christmas time is that time of year when people traditionally buy presents for family and friends. The season also leads to an increase in the amount of waste generated, said Dan Rock, Rock Recycling and Green Community Program Coordinator for the county.
It is estimated, in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, that American households will generate 25 percent more waste. That’s about 1 million extra tons of trash a year, Mr. Rock said.
“That is all the boxes, wrapping paper, instructions, bubble wrap, ribbons, tinsel and cards that get ripped off and then discarded,” he said in an e-mail. “There are many ways you can give without filling another landfill and celebrate the holiday season while protecting the environment.”
Here are some tips he offered:
Give a gift of a shared family experience — Instead of spending $400 on an Xbox, give your family a hot-air balloon ride, a train ride to a fun destination, or a family trip to an amusement park.
Give a certificate for a much-needed service, such as a massage, fancy homemade dinner, house cleaning or babysitting, or for a day out such as golfing.
Give donations to an environmental organization, charitable group or animal shelter.
Shop for gifts at antique stores, estate sales or flea markets, since one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Don’t forget the rechargeable batteries for electronic items, and to recycle any unwanted electronics. Visit www.co.monroe.mi.us/recycling for information on the county’s e-waste and battery recycling programs.
For kids, start a savings account or give stocks and bonds.
Buy a gift certificate to a local nursery for a tree to be planted in the spring together.
When shopping, bring your own shopping bags or consolidate your purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store on your shopping rounds.
If you are shopping through catalogs or online, choose gifts that are easy to ship and won’t require excessive packaging.