LOCKWOOD: Reducing Waste During the Holiday Season | Local news
This is the season to celebrate the holidays, exchange gifts, attend parties and enjoy the extended family around the table. It’s also the season to generate more waste: Between Thanksgiving and mid-January, most households generate about 25% more waste than any other season.
All the cute wrapping paper and colorful bows make for a nice backdrop for the holidays, but not so much at the curb.
When planning gifts and menus this time of year, think about the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Of course, people love to give and receive gifts, but choose items of value, utility, and meaning. These gifts will be less likely to end up in a yard sale or even in the trash.
Another suggestion for reducing waste is to focus on experience giveaways, such as museum or zoo memberships or amusement park tickets. For family and friends who already have it all, consider gift certificates for cleaning services, car detailing, or a homemade meal.
Often at this time of year we want to give things away, but something as simple as a gift of your time is priceless. Do an activity that creates a memory, no more garbage. Another idea is to give a homemade gift certificate to shovel snow this winter, plant flowers in the spring, mow the lawn in the summer, or rake the leaves next fall.
Here are other ways to reduce vacation waste:
Buy local to reduce cardboard waste. This not only eliminates the need for a box the gift is shipped in, it also saves money on shipping costs.
Choose gifts that have been recycled or made from sustainably sourced materials.
Think rechargeable batteries and chargers for electronic gifts.
Reuse old cards, comics, newspapers or old posters as gift wrapping.
Reuse ribbons, bows and gift bags.
Completely skip the packaging. Instead, hide the gift and leave written clues as to where it can be found.
When decorating the tree, use energy efficient LED lights.
Open a child’s or grandchild’s education or savings account or even donate on behalf of a family member to their favorite charity.
Household garbage service companies see 25% more on the sidewalk during the holiday season and through January. This extra garbage not only affects landfills, but our drivers as well. It takes longer for them to navigate their route, and because each stop has more trash than normal, drivers have to head to the landfill more often.
Also during the holidays, the increased amount of cardboard generated during the holidays, which she described as the âonline shopping effectâ. Customers order small products from a website that are shipped in large boxes, creating additional waste.
During the pandemic, when people were isolated in their homes, they began to shop more and more online. Consumers must break the boxes before putting them in the trash. This way the boxes take up less space and consumers can have more in each container. Plus, when shopping in person, check the products and packaging for the recycling symbol.
While many residents are good at recycling, however, many people are not so good at reducing and reusing.
Think about what you are buying and ask yourself if it can be recycled or reused. So many things cannot be recycled, but they can be reused or reused.
With the New Year fast approaching, consider adopting âreduce, reuse, recycleâ as your personal mantra through 2022.
Start your New Year off on the right foot with resolutions that will make a real difference in everyone’s life.
OSU Extension offers a variety of recycling information sheets.
Rachel Lockwood is the Family Consumption Science Extension Educator with the OSU Cooperative Extension Service in Pittsburg County. For more information on this topic or related FCS programs, contact Rachel at 918-423-4120, email [email protected] or the Pittsburg County OSU website http://oces.okstate.edu/pittsburg/ or find Pittsburg County. OSU Extension Center or Pittsburg County OHCE on Facebook.
Oklahoma State University, US Department of Agriculture, State and Local Government Cooperation. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible people, regardless of age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, national origin, disability , their status as a protected veteran or any other legally protected status. Equal opportunity employer.