MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The holidays see much more waste than any other time of year. Keep Midland Beautiful is hoping to make people aware of the amount of waste create and help people reduce their footprint during the holidays.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, Americans produce 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year. This can equal around 25 million tons of garbage.
Wrapping paper is one of the biggest issues during Christmas time. To help reduce waste, consider using magazines, newspaper pages or even old maps to wrap your presents. If you do use wrapping paper, try to seek out ones made out of recycled materials.
Other options to reduce waste from presents include using cloth ribbon instead of plastic, using tins, baskets or boxes or saving wrapping paper for next year.
The gifts you give can also contribute to the waste that ends up in landfills. Ways to prevent this include avoiding “fad” gifts (mood rings, pet rocks), giving items with an environmental message (reusable tote bag, refillable thermos), making a gift yourself (cookies, jam) or giving something that creates no waste or gets used up (concert tickets, candles).
Energy and gas consumption is also a major issue during this time of year. Carpooling or reducing travel times can decrease greenhouse gas emissions by up to one million tons. Additionally, using holiday lights with small bulbs, turning off Christmas lights when not needed and covering hot-water pipes in foam can help save energy.
The holidays are a time of food and fun, but food waste becomes an even greater issue during this time of year. KMB says if each American throws away only one bite of turkey with gravy, eight million pounds of food is till wasted. To help reduce this waste, keep your initial portion small and go back for seconds if you are still hungry. You can also try to compost any leftover fruits, vegetables and peels.
Finally, taking leftover paper, cardboard and plastic to recycling bins in your community can help reduce waste significantly. For a list of recycling locations and what they accept, you can click here.
For more information on how to be a more conscious consumer and make your holidays greener, you can click here.