The holiday season is a time of giving, but the landfill is receiving the most presents this time of year.
The holidays present many ways to create waste, but also many ways to reduce it. Curan Kenth is a past executive member of EnviroWestern, and he says there are many ways to help out.
Tips to reduce waste during the holidays:
- Buy less food – preventing overconsumption and the disposal of leftovers
- Eat less meat – meat production creates more negative environmental impacts
- Heat and lights – turning down the heat and turning off the lights when leaving the house reduces electricity use
- Less wrapping paper – using recyclable alternatives such as newspaper (or no wrapping at all) reduces overall waste
Kenth says EnviroWestern has an initiative called “Buy nothing, make something”, that encourages hand-made presents using materials from home. “By embracing creativity, you’re not going out of your way to encourage environmentally detrimental manufacturing processes, and actually taking what you already have, and just re-gifting it in a way, to give it to someone else,” he says.
Kenth says the goal is to deviate from the norm, in an effort to show that presents don’t need to come from the store. “We try to counter consumerism and really use materials that we already have pre-existing at home to make gifts for a loved one,” he says.
He adds that the unique gifts are like the best of both worlds, pleasing those receiving them while keeping waste out of the landfill. “They tend to be a little bit more appreciated and are just overall better for the environment,” he says.
Kenth believes it’s important to be conscientious during the holidays, as a little bit of effort can go a long way.