The Best Ways to Reuse and Reduce at Christmas

Treading lightly on the planet

While recycling is an efficient way to be environmentally friendly over the holidays, the best way to protect the planet is to avoid waste in the first place. This can be done simply by reducing your consumption (of energy and of products) over the season.

Sometimes acting environmentally can seem overwhelming and difficult. With the right information and a little effort you can cut your waste in half!

Tips to Reuse

Most people probably think that it is easier to reuse than it is to reduce. The truth is, when you are reusing you are reducing! Every time you don’t throw something in the garbage and don’t have to use something new you are reducing the effects your consumption has on the environment.

BYOB! (Bring Your Own Bag)

Take your own bag with you when you go shopping. Don’t load up on plastic bags that will end up in landfills. If you have to take a bag with your purchase, save it and use it again.

Rewrap!
Use last year’s Christmas wrapping. Unwrap presents carefully and neatly fold the paper to wrap another gift with later.

Make a Postcard
Personalize last year’s Christmas cards. You can cut a Christmas card in half and write a message on the back of the picture to use it as a Christmas post card.

Tag it!
Use old Christmas cards as gift tags.

Only Buy Rechargeables
Buy gifts with rechargeable batteries. It’s always better to reuse a battery than throw it out.

Give it Away
Donate old Christmas gifts to charity.

Reuse your Tree
Use your Christmas tree as a shelter for birds and animals. You can also use the tree as mulch or wood chips.

Reuse Packaging
Save the foam and packaging from Christmas gifts to use later for shipping or mailing. You can also take these items to a shipping or mailing store and they will reuse them.

Tips to Reduce
While reusing is a way to reduce waste, it is more environmentally friendly to minimize the amount of waste you create and the number of things you need to reuse. Less is more when it comes to celebrating a green Christmas!

Don’t Buy Gifts
Make donations. Have a party. Do something nice for someone else. Avoid packaging!

Shorten Your List
Don’t buy something for everyone, and buy only one thing for each person on your list.

Purchase Recycled Gifts
Buy gifts that are made of recycled materials and are packaged in recycled packaging.

Encourage Others
Give gifts that will encourage others to reduce. A backyard composter, a reusable bag or a book on the environment will all help others learn.

Avoid Extras
Avoid gifts that come packaged in a lot of extra material.

Don’t Wrap Your Gifts
It may seem extreme, but find an alternative to wrapping paper like putting your gifts in reusable bags or wrapping gifts in other gifts like clothing.

Give Living Gifts
Plants, trees and seeds are great gifts that will contribute to the quality of the air around you.

Turn Out the Lights
When you’re going to bed, during the day be sure to turn off your Christmas lights to save energy and money.

Compost Everything Possible
Food and live decorations are all compostable.

If you work to be environmentally friendly all through the year it will be easy for you to come up with tons of ideas to reduce the amount of waste and pollution caused by the holidays.

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