The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, of getting together with family and friends and sharing the gifts of the season. The holidays are also a time when North Americans produce 25% more waste than any other time of the year, which equates to 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill. Ho! Ho! Holy crap! This season, we’re sharing a few favorite tips from the Whole Foods Market Green Mission Team to help us all reduce our holiday waste. (Check out our posts on greening your Christmas trees and lights.) We know our customers are some of the greenest folks around, so please share your tips with us too. Hopefully we’ll help each other discover new and creative ways to live lighter on the planet this holiday season. Holiday Cards Did you know that over 2 ½ billion (BILLION!) holiday cards are sold annually in the U.S.? That’s enough to fill a 10-story building with a footprint the size of a football field. And what happens to most of those cards? Yep, you guessed it, into the landfill. Some ideas on what to do instead:
- Send e-cards or e-mails instead of paper cards. If you feel this makes you look cheap, lazy or (gasp) uncreative -- add a line about your efforts to curb waste this holiday season. Who can argue with that?
- If you do send paper cards, make sure they’re printed on post-consumer recycled paper and choose non-metallic cards so they can be recycled (cards embossed with foil and envelopes with a foil insert are not recyclable).
- Make your own greeting cards from your household paper items normally slated for the recycling bin – bring back the art of collage!
- Reuse the greeting cards you receive as gift tags. You’re probably not planning to re-read every single card you receive this holiday. Grab some scissors and get crafty.
- Remove the fronts of your cards and send to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children Recycled Card program.