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More Cheer, Less Waste!

The holiday season is quickly approaching, but before you head out (or to your computer) to order up some cheer, we encourage you to take a little time to think about your gift-giving and receiving this year.

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. And the average American spends $800 on gifts the holiday season.*

Here are a few different ways to give this year with less impact on our planet or our pocketbooks:


  • Shop local. Support local businesses, makers, and artisans in the community while reducing shipping costs and environmental impact.


  • Give treasured items. Share plant cuttings, seeds, favorite books, family pictures or heirlooms. Check out antique stores, estate sales, consignment shops for interesting gift items.


  • Give experiences. Concert/event tickets, museum/gym memberships, lessons, gift certificates for dinner or a massage, and travel are all wonderful gifts that will create lifelong memories.


  • Give the gift of values. Start or deposit cash into a child’s savings account, make donations to a loved-one’s favorite charity in their name.


  • Gift things you can “use up” with minimal waste (think: food, candles, soap, etc.).


  • Make it yourself. Homemade food and gifts are great ways to share your talents with others.


  • Let the people in your life know that homemade gifts and/or gifts of their time are priceless to you.


  • Choose items of value and meaning that won’t break easily or be destined for the trash.


  • Wrap it up! Use old maps, newsprint, artwork or recycled paper with fresh greenery that can be composted. You can also use scarves, handkerchiefs and bandanas, or re-used gift bags and bows.


  • Be sure to pick up rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts and toys.


And don’t underestimate the gift of your time. Spend the holidays enjoying time with the people you love. It doesn’t cost a thing, and is the most precious gift to give or to receive.


*Fact source: EPA at

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