Our Center is splashing into the holiday spirit by giving back to our oceans! On Friday, November 29th we kick-off our “BLUE” holiday season with our Blue Friday annual event, which focuses on engaging community members in activities related to sustainable alternatives for the holiday season.
Although the winter holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, the season also produces a lot of waste. According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period. At LMC, we are working to change this phenomenon by going blue with a few, simple tips to increase sustainability this holiday season.
Sustainable Wrapping: Did you know that 8,000 tons of wrapping paper are used during the holiday season? That equates to more than 50,000 trees! Half of the paper purchased in the United States is used to wrap and decorate holiday packages.
When wrapping gifts, try to avoid wrapping paper and use newspapers, colorful magazine pages, posters or old maps as an alternative. You can avoid using paper altogether by wrapping gifts with cloths, reusable bags, decorative tins or baskets. Other ideas for sustainable wrapping include magazine bows, paint chip gift tags or carefully unwrapping gifts to reuse the wrapping paper.
Even the smallest of changes in your wrapping habits have significant impact on our planet, such as skipping the ribbon. If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, 38,000 miles of ribbon would be saved, which could tie a bow around the entire planet!
Gift Giving & Holiday Greetings: The United States generates an additional 5 million pounds of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. When gifting to family and friends, think of giving something that is durable, reusable and/or environmentally friendly! Some of these gifts may include trips and outings, handmade gifts, gift certificates and memberships.
Giving back is also a great way to reduce waste during the holidays. Donating to nonprofits in someone’s name, or volunteering, is an easy way to show your loved ones you care, while also protecting the environment.
Opt for digital greeting cards, that can be sent via email or through social media, instead of mailing paper copies. The 2.65 billion holiday cards that are sold each year in the United States could fill a football field up to 10 stories high! It’s estimated that if every family sent one less card we could save 50,000 cubic yards of paper this holiday season.
A few simple sustainable alternatives can drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce around the holiday season. So, go BLUE these winter months by following our gift wrapping and giving guide.