Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to our BARC family! We hope you are staying safe and healthy during this holiday season. Even though we may be traveling less and limiting our gatherings, our Christmas’s can still be the most wonderful time of the year.
American household waste increases by about 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This waste produces an additional 1 MILLION TONS a week to our landfills. It is so important to be conscientious of our waste during this time of year, so BARC is here to help you create the best GREEN Christmas in 2020.
How can I make a difference?
Here are some ways to celebrate a sustainable and GREEN Christmas:
1. Christmas Trees
About 30 million real trees are sold in the US every year, which has a significant carbon dioxide footprint. If your tree ends up in the landfill after Christmas, as it decomposes it produces methane gas which is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Here are some examples on how to recycle your Christmas trees at the end of the season:
- “Treecycle” – You can turn your tree into useful materials such as mulch. There are many Recycling programs around the US for Christmas Trees
- Burn the tree on the fireplace throughout the winter
- Add your tree scraps to a compost pile.
Click here for more environmental Christmas Tree facts.
2. Christmas Decor
There are so many ways to use recycled items as Christmas decor. Time to get creative!
- Collect fallen branches, pinecones, leaves and berries around your yard or neighborhood to create a wreath or mantel decor
- Repurpose wine bottles, lightbulbs, CD’s, wine corks, paper towel rolls, etc. to create some fun decorations! Here are some ideas!
3. Wrapping Paper
“Roughly 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper is produced in the United States each year, with 2.3 million ending up in landfills” according to TurboTenant.
We can reduce this by using substitutes for wrapping paper such as:
- Old newspapers and magazines (you can also shred these for box fillers instead of tissue paper
- Shoe Boxes
- Shopping paper bags you have around the house
4. Food Waste
Because American Christmas celebrations and traditions typically involve large feasts of delicious food with our loved ones, we need to be contentious of our food waste. Here are some ideas on how we can reduce waste:
- Only buy what food you need from the store for the special occasion. When possible, shop local!
- Get creative with leftovers! Some great recipes can be used with leftover ham, turkey, potatoes, and more!
- Start a compost with your scraps/expired food
- Donate leftover cans or un-used items to food drives.
“In the U.S., 2.65 billion Christmas cards are sold each year, enough to fill a football field ten stories high.” – TurboTenant.
We love sending out Christmas cards to our loved ones, and as pretty as those Christmas cards are, most of them are thrown away after the season has ended. To avoid this paper waste, send an e-card! All your family and friends will love your family’s message and Christmas wishes, while you are supporting a Green Christmas.
6. Minimize Gift Giving/Donate Gifts
2020 is the perfect year to cut back on spending and donate items you don’t use anymore. There are so many local charities who would greatly appreciate your donation, and local re-sale shops would love to take any old items off your hands. Some consignment shops can even pay you for your old items.
Another way to cut down on purchasing physical items is to organize events, special dinners, trips, or a night out with your loved ones. Experiences can be the best gifts and create so many more memories.
Happy Holidays from BARC
With all of these tips and tricks to tackle the holiday season, you are on your way to celebrating a wonderful Green Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays BARC family!