TIME Magazine has chosen 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate crisis activist, as person of the year. Greta became famous when she gave an impassioned speech about the lack of action from world leaders regarding climate change. It is a good reminder that one person can make a difference, whether it be large or small. Greta started with a hand-painted sign and now has millions of supporters.
With this in mind, this blog is dedicated to the small things we can do over the holidays to be less wasteful. This time of year produces more waste than any other time of year. And much of this waste comes in the form of single-use items. Here are five things that you can do to help cut down on waste.
1. Give the gift of time or an experience: A homemade certificate for helping dig a garden, creating a picnic, or providing pet-sitting services is great for the person who could use an extra hand. Personally, the gift of babysitting my children would be appreciated! Tickets to concerts, plays, or sporting events; memberships to museums, art galleries, or science centers are also great gifts that will bring lasting memories. A donation in the recipient’s name to a cause or organization he or she is passionate about is also a thoughtful gift.
2. Creative wrapping: If you do have a gift to wrap, get creative and reuse what you have on hand, such as newspaper, magazine pages, comics, or even maps. Gift bags can also be reused over and over again.
3. Go LED: LED lights use 90% less energy than traditional Christmas lights, are more durable, and last 10 times longer.
4. Real vs fake: If you celebrate with a tree, real vs fake can be a true debate. Read this past blog to help you make a more environmentally friendly choice.
5. Waste less food: Plan your meal carefully and don’t buy extra food you might not need. Give guests leftovers to take home or give care packages to neighbors. Compost food waste (best not to include meat scraps and oily things) and vegetable peelings. Set your table with reusable dishes, utensils, and cloth napkins and tablecloths.
Photo from here, with thanks.