Research shows that holiday waste (from Thanksgiving through New Years Day) rises between 25 to 43 percent. It is important to remember that recycling also increases during this season. There are many ways that we can reduce our waste during the holidays. Here are some of the easiest.
Know your recycling program
To find out what items are accepted in your region and what options are available for those items, check with your local recycling coordinator. Visit RecycleHereSC for more information by county and municipality.
Reduce food waste
Unwanted food ranks as the #1 item that is thrown out nationwide every year. This is especially true during the holidays, when the chances of wasting food increase. To prevent food from going bad, plan, shop and prepare smart. Dont Waste Food SC has more information about how to prevent holiday waste.
Don’t let recycling take you on vacation
Recycle large cardboard boxes and gift boxes, electronics, Christmas trees, cooking oil and other everyday recyclables whenever you can. Visit RecycleHereSC to find out where and what to recycle.
The holiday season sees more waste, but less recyclable items. It is possible to avoid this contamination by keeping the holiday-dirty half-dozen from the recycling bin.
- Strings of lights
- Metallic, shiny and glittery wrapping paper
- Ribbons, bows, and twine
- Styrofoam and peanuts are good options.
- Tissue paper;
- plastic bags
Material that can easily be recycled should be clean, empty, dry, and loose. Don’t bag items before you put them in the bin. Learn how to SC Recycling Right.
Give gifts that do not require packaging
Gift your loved one memberships, tickets and gift certificates. You can also help reduce food waste by signing your loved one up for a cooking class, or donating to a local food bank. These presents don’t add to the waste stream and are clutter-free.
Buy local. Buy recycled
Remember that online gifts can sometimes travel far so it is important to shop locally. Look for gifts that have an environmental impact such as a stainless-steel water bottle, a reusable shopping bag, or toys made from recycled materials. Homemade baked goods are always a hit.
The U.S. consumes more electricity in December than many other countries. You can buy Energy Star-qualified LED lights that last longer and are 90% more efficient than traditional Christmas lights. Or, go solar and get solar-powered LED lights. Make sure to turn off electronics and lights when not in use.