Consider ways to create more memories - and less waste - this holiday season
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency The typical Minnesotan creates roughly six pounds of waste each day. But from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrappi...
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
The typical Minnesotan creates roughly six pounds of waste each day. But from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons - it all adds up to an additional one million tons a week to the nation's garbage piles.
This year, people are not giving traditional gifts. A 2005 poll by the New American Dream shows that more than three out of five Americans (62 percent) say they are planning to or considering giving family members gifts such as a savings bond or a little something extra for the piggy bank this year.
Make the decision to spend more time with your family and less time shopping, wrapping and throwing stuff away. Shake up some old family traditions in favor of some newer, no-waste traditions. Visit www.reduce.org to find great gift ideas, blank "do-it-yourself" gift certificates and lots of informative links for simplifying your holidays.
Some easy ideas for making your holidays less wasteful this year include:
- Volunteer and donate. Giving your time and/or money to worthy causes not only helps your community but gives you a sense of contribution and involvement that is hard to quantify.
- Give an experience. This year, why not give your family something they really want without all of the wrapping? Give a gift certificate to someone that will allow him or her to learn a new hobby, polish old skills, or just go out to dinner and a movie.
- Invest in your family. What could be more satisfying than helping a child save for the future? There are lots of investment options for those wanting to contribute to a college savings fund. Visit www.reduce.org for ideas.
- Eco-gifts support or do less harm to the environment. Look for products that have little or no packaging, are made from natural ingredients, or are made with little or no pollution.
For more tips on living green year-round, go to www.livinggreen.org for more ideas and to sign up for an e-newsletter.
MPCA staff work with Minnesotans to protect, conserve, and improve our environment and enhance our quality of life. For more information, visit www.pca.state.mn.us .