While you're making a list and checking it twice, why not give gifts that give twice? Charitable giving can can do a world of good! Keep your gift local by making a donation to your local food bank or homeless shelter in your recipient's name. Support education during the holidays by donating books or supplies in a friend's or your child's name to a local school or library. Make your holiday meals with as many locally grown and/or organic foods as possible! If you're giving or receiving new electronics this year, be sure to recycle or donate old ones! Check out Earth911.com for more info. How do you reduce waste? Gift reusable bags. Purchase recycled paper gift wrap. Reuse holiday cards into nifty gift tags. Wrap with newsprint, paper bags or old maps! Gift wrap with recycled paper or a scarf. Reuse a gift bag, even if it's NOT a holiday bag! Give the gift of time to someone you care about. Conversation shared over lunch or a visit to a museum are always great gifts.
Some waste facts that may surprise you:
- Waste fact #1: Nationwide, between Thanksgiving & Christmas, we throw away a MILLION EXTRA TONS of waste each WEEK.
- Waste fact #2: In Raleigh, in an average week, 3,000 tons of waste is discarded. During those six weeks it jumps up to 3,750 tons!
- Waste fact #3: 1.9 billion holiday cards are sent every year, filling a football field 10 stories high. Harvesting almost 300,000 trees!
- Waste fact #4: During the holidays, at least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year - almost 100 pounds per person.
- Waste fact #5: Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap & decorate consumer products.