There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to winter in Tennessee: the frosty air and snow throughout many areas of the state, but what isn’t exciting is the accumulation of litter. Litter reduction during these colder months is a big problem; especially when the holiday season is in full force.
Waste management not only helps preserve the natural beauty of Tennessee’s wintery landscapes, but it ensures Tennesseans have a safe and clean environment to enjoy the winter holidays. As our gift for the holidays, we at Nobody Trashes Tennessee would like to offer some eco-friendly tips that will not only help reduce litter and keep our state pristine, but we’re pretty sure you’ll go to the top of the nice list, too!
1. Travel the Eco-Friendly Way
Holiday travels can often create litter problems that can be a roadway eyesore and develop many hazards to animals and people. There are many different eco-friendly travel tips that you can use to ensure that you are not contributing to the growing roadway litter problem.
Since litter thrown from vehicles is a big part of the litter problem, you can carry portable trash bags in your vehicle, that way your garbage can be stored and disposed of properly later. It is a good idea to make planned stops to throw out trash so that you don’t add litter to our roadways. An added benefit is that it will keep your car looking sharp! You can also opt to carpool, when possible, to minimize the number of vehicles on the road, leading to less litter and a smaller carbon footprint.
2. Opt For Reusable Bags and Reduce Gift Litter
Gift-giving is one of the main hallmarks of the holiday season. However, it can often come with the potential for excessive waste. You can help reduce trash by using reusable bags and containers rather than disposable ones. While holiday shopping, make sure you grab a reusable bag before you head out the door! With so many fun and festive prints, you can look stylish while protecting the environment. And this year, save a few bags you get and reuse those for gifts next year! It’s the ultimate in eco-friendly gift-giving.
You can reduce litter from holiday celebrations this year in many other inventive ways. A lot of gift wrap can also be recycled, or you can choose an experiential gift, such as tickets to a concert or a big sporting event, as these gifts do not come with additional waste or take up any space. Plus you’re creating more memories with your loved ones in the future!
3. Recycle Your Holiday Tree
One of the significant symbols of the season is the Christmas tree. However, according to Purdue University, improperly disposed holiday trees can contribute to the increased production of methane as well as additional waste for landfills.
This holiday season, consider a real tree with the roots attached, which can be replanted and reused next holiday season. You can purchase a rooted tree from many working Christmas tree farms. Or if you opt for a non-rooted tree, make sure you utilize the Christmas tree recycling programs in your county. Discover other unique ways to recycle your Christmas tree and make the holidays a little brighter, knowing you are helping to reduce Christmas tree waste.
4. Adopt a “Leave No Trace” Winter Attitude
Outdoor sports like skiing, snowboarding, and hiking are prevalent in winter. Adopting a Leave No Trace approach on these excursions is vital to protecting our environment and the wildlife in it.
To keep our winter wonderlands pristine, we must remove traces of human presence, including food wrappers and other single-use items, whether hitting the trails or the ski slopes. Rather than littering, throw all your trash in appropriate disposal containers. By doing so, we can ensure that Tennessee and its beautiful scenery remain postcard-worthy for others to enjoy.
5. Join the Movement this Holiday Season
Winter is a magical time of the year; however, with festive holidays and warm celebrations can come the impact of litter. Everything from what we do with our trash while we travel to how we store and dispose of holiday gifts and decorations matters.
This holiday season, join the movement to end littering by spreading the word on how to stop littering, following these tips, and collectively working to keep the trash out of Tennessee. Together, we can make a positive difference and ensure that Tennessee’s winter wonderland remains beautiful for everyone.
- Which Christmas tree is better for the environment – real or artificial?
(Purdue University, www.purdue.edu)