by Maddie Stephen ’21 and Payton Morse ’20
With the semester coming to a close, the holiday season is rapidly approaching. The holiday season is a time of great happiness and cheer, but also a time of great waste.
However, there are many ways you can reduce your waste so that the holidays do not have a major impact on the environment.
A great place to start reducing your waste over the break is with wrapping presents. In fact, every year, 30 million trees are chopped down in order to produce wrapping paper. However, most wrapping paper is not recyclable.
Keep an eye out for wrapping paper made out of recycled goods, or use recyclable wrapping paper.
Other methods include wrapping presents with colored newspaper or recyclable gift bags, that you can decorate while at the kitchen table for some quality family time.
Rather than purchasing new supplies and goods each season, consider reusing materials from past holidays.
When you open a present that has a pretty bow or ribbon, tuck it away in a box and then save it for the next gift.
This also goes for decorations. Rather than buying new lights and decorative Santas to put around the house each year, store them all away in a closet to save them.
This will not only help reduce your consumption but will save you money when you do not have to purchase new supplies and decorations.
Lastly, think twice before purchasing and sending out Christmas cards to all your loved ones. The cards themselves, and the envelopes that you stick them in, results in a lot of unnecessary paper and resource consumption.
Although most of the cards and envelopes themselves should be recyclable, there is no guarantee that they will be recycled.
Most likely they will be put in the trash and not the recycling bin. If all the Christmas cards sent this year were placed next to each other, they would stretch around the world 500 times.
Therefore, instead of purchasing the cards, try making them yourself with recycled paper. They will be much appreciated. Or, cut back even more by sending an e-card this holiday season.