Growing up, memories of Christmas morning usually include waking up and running down the stairs to find what was waiting under the tree. Next, you would start tearing paper apart and throwing it across the room at your siblings to get that gift that you’ve been hoping for all year. What we never thought about then, was all the paper, gift boxes, and cards that were left at the end of the day. This season, consider the difference you could for the environment by making a few small changes!
- When looking for wrapping paper, check to see what paper is made from recycled materials. Many times, regular wrapping paper is made out of materials that may be harmful to the environment. You can also get creative and make wrapping paper out of other reusable materials such as brown paper bags or newspaper.
- Reuse and recycle bows, ribbons, gift boxes, and gift tags. After all the presents are opened, collect all the reusable wrapping materials and store them away for next year. This will cut down on the amount of waste you are throwing away, and save you a trip next season when gift wrapping!
- Instead of throwing out old Christmas decorations that you don’t think you will use next year, ask a friend if they would be interested in the items, or donate them to the local salvation army or thrift store. You can even trade in your old Christmas lights for LED lights at a discount in many stores. Check out how to do it here.
- When the holidays come to an end and Christmas blues set in, recycle your Christmas tree rather than just tossing it in the dumpster. Find an organization that will pick up your tree for you or drop in. You may be surprised at the number of creative ways your natural tree can be recycled! Whether it’s getting crafty or creating a habitat for birds and fish, your old tree will not go to waste. Take a look at this article for more inventive options!
If you would like to continue taking small steps towards sustainability in your home in the new year, consider this graphic from Arhaus, which lays out small changes you can make in your home, that could have a profound impact on the environment. If every American recycled a tenth of their newspaper, we could save 25,000,000 trees each year. This could be significant when you remember just two mature trees provide enough oxygen for one person to breathe over the course of a year. Arhaus is a company that supports the recycling revolution as they make their dining chairs and tables from reclaimed wood and sustainable material!