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How to Have a Low-Impact Holiday Season

By Stephanie Osmanski

The United States docks in at the No. 1 spot for most wasteful countries in the world. Perhaps the US tradition of consumerism has something to do with this, especially during the holidays. After all, the US produces 236 million tons of waste per year, 25 million tons of which solely accumulates between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

The good news is there is a lot we can do to significantly reduce the amount of trash we’re making during the holiday season. By making eco-conscious decisions when it comes to holiday decorations, the food we cook, and the gifts we give, we can drastically reduce our holiday-time carbon footprint and in turn, make an eco-friendly difference during the holidays.

Want to learn more about how to have a low impact holiday season? Keep reading for these earth-friendly holiday tips!

Choose zero-waste gift wrapping options

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Just think about all that single-use wrapping paper that immediately gets torn and thrown away once presents are opened. It’s a total waste, especially if it’s not recycled. Luckily, there are eco-friendlier options: fabric wrapping, brown paper, burlap, and even reusable gift wrap bags are alternatives to traditional, single-use wrapping paper. 

Here’s another zero-waste wrapping tip: Ditch the Scotch tape. Tape is not biodegradable, unless it is made with vegetable oil. But since most tape is made from plastic, the Scotch tape you’re using to adhere your gift wrap together probably will take more than 1,000 years to decompose. Washi tape, however, is biodegradable, reusable, and made from sustainable resources like silicone. Or, if you’re willing to nix the tape altogether, check out this Japanese gift-wrapping technique that requires neither tape nor ribbon.