Take Care of Texas this Holiday Season

Release Date
Mon, December 15 2014
The holiday season is here and with it comes tons of extra waste.
Lisa Wheeler

The holiday season is here and with it comes tons of extra waste. Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. That extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week. With a little fine-tuning, everything from gift-giving to decorating can benefit the environment, too.

Here are some easy tips to help Take Care of Texas this holiday season and trim your holiday trash:

Plan an Eco-Friendly Party. If you’re having a holiday party, choose reusable plates, cups, linens and utensils instead of disposable ones. Avoid disposable hats, noisemakers, streamers, balloons or other throwaways.

Use Reusable Bags. When you’re headed out to do some holiday shopping, take along reusable shopping bags to help reduce the number of single-use, disposable bags distributed by retailers.

Buy Local. Visit a farmers market [Exit the TCEQ] for locally grown products for your holiday meal.

Recycle Your Tree. Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. Drop your tree off at a local tree recycling center to be transformed into mulch.

Reuse Gift Wrap. If every American family reused two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet—or skip the fancy wrapping paper and bows, and look around the house to see what you can use, like recycled papers, Sunday comics or catalogs, or shop for recycled-content wrapping paper. Give a gift that requires minimal gift-wrapping, such as concert tickets or gift certificates. When giving oversized gifts like bicycles, instead of wrapping it with paper, tie a bow around it.

Recycle Old Electronics. Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household. Electronic waste makes up approximately 2 percent of the municipal solid waste stream, and is steadily increasing. So if you receive or give a new electronic product this holiday season, remember to recycle the one you are replacing.

And finally, make a New Year’s resolution to help Take Care of Texas by pledging to keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste at TakeCareOfTexas.org.

Check out your lifetime impact on the environment and learn how you can make a difference.

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