SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Household waste increases more than 25 percent this time of the year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This means an additional 1 million tons per week nationwide.
Ashley Krug, Market Development Coordinator and Laurie Duncan, Education Outreach Coordinator, with the City of Springfield Environmental Services have some tips on how to reduce waste during the Holidays as you get ready to shop for gifts, wrap them and then unwrap the ones you receive.
Krug says step one is being mindful as you’re shopping: consider the packaging. Look for items with zero or the least amount of plastic packaging or material that can’t be recycled. Sometimes, the same item is sold without all of the packaging. The same is true for items you buy online.
As you wrap your gifts, Duncan says to consider alternatives to gift wrapping. While shiny paper and glitter are fun, they are not recyclable.
She also says you can consider making the wrapping part of the gift. In one example, she wrapped a book in a t-shirt, which was also part of the gift.
Other options are wrapping your gift in a cloth bag, reusable shopping bag, pillowcase, or beach towel.
Instead of pre-made plastic bows, which are not recyclable, Duncan suggests using yarn or string, or even making your own bows from recycled material.
While opening presents, you can keep a box or bag to collect waste and one to collect recyclables. And try to recycle as much as possible. This can also make for a fun game with the kids.
If hosting a holiday meal, one way to cut down on waste is to consider using real plates and glasses.
And as you make room for your new stuff, you may want to consider getting rid of some “old” stuff. Before throwing it in the trash, consider donating or repurposing certain items.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has purple boxes all around town where you can drop off clothing items.