You may not realize it, but your holiday celebration this year might be creating more litter than you think. The good news is, there are a lot of ways you can make a difference and reduce litter this holiday season.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by an estimated 25% — that’s about one million extra tons of garbage each week! That’s a whole lot of ribbons, paper, bows, and cardboard. And unfortunately, not only do they end up in landfills, but they fall from trash trucks and other vehicles and end up on our roadways and waterways too! But don’t let these sad facts ruin your holiday spirit! Below, find 5 ways you can help reduce litter from your holiday celebrations!
1. FORGO DISPOSABLE DINNERWARE
Make your celebration more environmentally friendly by using washable dinnerware instead of disposable plates and utensils. And make sure to use reusable containers for leftovers. Even with the energy and water needed to wash ‘real’ dishware, the overall environmental impact is substantially less than single-use, throw-away items, plus they don’t end up as litter on the roadways.
2. GIVE THE GIFT OF SUSTAINABILITY
Giving an eco-friendly gift is a great way to get something for anyone on your list this year, and you get points for being kinder to the environment. Instead of giving something that may end up in the trash after a couple of months, how about opting for more sustainable options like reusable cups, straws, or a cute lunch bag? You can also go the homemade route and give baked goods, or for the person that has everything, try something experiential!
3. CHOOSE TO REUSE
Choosing sustainable wrapping is a major step in the effort to reduce your waste. Get creative and use unconventional ways to wrap gifts. Scarves, dish towels, reusable bags or fabric scraps make great alternatives to traditional wrapping that just end up in landfills. Plus, you’re upping your gift-giving game!
4. RECYCLE THAT WRAPPING
If you receive gift-wrapped items, remember that gift bags, boxes and bows can be reused. Christmas cards can be turned into gift tags for next year. Cardboard shipping boxes can be broken down for recycling or used for household or craft projects. The less trash you generate, the less chance it will end up on Tennessee roadways.
5. STASH YOUR TRASH
All the litter that accumulates from the holidays has the potential to blow away on garbage day, so make sure to properly bag your trash before you put it out on the curb this holiday season. Secure loose wrapping paper, paper plates and envelopes, so the trash goes where it’s supposed to – in the garbage truck!
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. Let’s all do everything we can to help reduce our holiday waste and keep it off Tennessee roadways!
Learn more about how you can Join the Movement to end littering at https://nobodytrashestennessee.com/join-the-movement/