With the average American household generating 25 percent more trash during the holiday season between extra trash from boxes and wrappings to thrown-out leftovers the carbon footprint of holiday travel and entertaining is hard on natural resources.
Heres a few ways sustainability experts say you can reduce holiday waste and make the season greener.
Enclose gifts in packaging that can be re-used such as fabric or baskets, last years gift bags and recycled newspaper for wrapping paper.
Plan meals with local and sustainably-grown meats and produce from your local farmers market.
Reduce your gas consumption by ordering gifts online or purchasing locally-produced gifts. Carpool or consolidate your trips to the malls and other shops.
Cook less so that you keep food waste to a minimum and freeze and re-use your leftovers.
Decorate your home with fewer lights. Use LEDs - which use less energy - and keep them on a timer. Also turn your thermostat and water heater down when you are out of town.
Instead of mailing paper-made cards and invitations consider e-cards, e-vites and holiday phone calls.
Decorate with items that dont consume energy such as popcorn strings or items that can be reused such as small pants, whole fruit, herbs and pinecones.
Use reusable or recyclable cups, plates, napkins and utensils, and provide recycling containers for your guests.
Purchase a live Christmas tree with a rootball and replant it or recycle it for mulch.
Happy Green Holidays!