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Posted on: December 9, 2021

Make Memories, Not Waste

Make memories not waste

Holiday food waste and other throw-away items like shopping bags, bows, ribbons, packaging, and wrapping paper contribute an additional one million tons a week to our landfills. This year looks a little different already, so why not add a "green" twist to your plans?  

Here are 12 easy things you can do to help reduce holiday waste and make your gift giving "go green":

  1. Be Earth Kind. Purchase wrapping paper made from recycled materials, and avoid paper with glitter or embossed foil because those aren't recyclable. Better yet, start a new tradition of reusable gift wraps that can be saved and reused.sustainable gift wrap
  2. Get Creative. Try not wrapping gifts at all. Instead, package gifts in an item or container that can also be reused such as camping gear in a backpack, jewelry in cute socks, kitchen utensils in a decorative basket, or hot chocolate mix in a new thermos.sustainable gift wrap kitchen gift
  3. Choose Experiences or Gifts of the Heart. Many people remember experiences more than tangible gifts. Gifting an experience, like concert tickets, annual passes to zoos and museums, or gifts of service like babysitting, help with the lawn or an I.O.U. for home repairs. Experience gifts help reduce waste, and can make lasting memories for your loved ones.Gift experiences zoo trip
  4. Give Treasure. Pass on a favorite book, a plant starter or family heirloom. Reuse by shopping estate sales, flea markets and resale shops for unique finds. gifting family heirloom
  5. Invest and Impart Values. Start a child’s savings account, educational IRA or make a donation to a favorite charity in the recipient’s name.sustainable holidays college savings
  6. Get Crafty. Use your skills to create personalized gifts and upcycle materials you already have on hand. It's easy to find unique ideas online, so start creating! get crafty and upcycle
  7. Gifts for Kids. Search your closets, garage sales and thrift stores to create a "dress up box" filled with costume jewelry, scarves, hats and fun accessories. Gift flower seeds, pots and trowels with the promise of teaching how to plant in the spring. Gather unused craft supplies and make a rainy day supply box with suggestions to fuel a child's creativity.kids costume dress up box
  8. Gifts to the Environment. Thrill a gardener with wildflower seeds and an invitation to attend a Texas SmartScape class. Gift that electronic gadget-lover a battery charger with rechargeable batteries. State park passes get families outdoors to connect with the environment. Gardening Classes
  9. Holiday Cards. Each year, an estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high! Save time, money and resources by updating and paring down your list, and by sending e-mail wishes. Take Care of Texas offers free digital cards - check it out!Deck the Halls
  10. Electronics. Get a new computer, tablet or phone this holiday season? Don’t toss out your old model; recycle it responsibly by bringing it to monthly Hazardous Household Waste Drop-off Events.computer and phone
  11. All That Cardboard. With more online shopping than ever before, be sure to break down the boxes and put them in your recycling cart. Bubble wrap, tissue paper, Styrofoam and packing materials have to go into the trash, or save them for reuse. If you aren’t sure what can be recycled, visit Can I Recycle It?, the City’s free recycling search tool.Home delivery boxes on front porch
  12. After the Gifts Are Opened. When the decorations come down,  live trees can be dropped off at Home Depot. Artificial trees can be repurposed into wreaths, centerpieces or other holiday decorations for next year. Burned out strands of lights and tinsel go in the trash, as they aren't recyclable because they are "tanglers" at the recycling plant.
    christmas tree drop-off_2021