WGG’s Tips for a “Green” Holiday

Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week!

While the winter holiday season brings good cheer for most people, it also brings a lot more solid waste to the landfill, harm to the environment and additional debt to the average American family. Here are some environmentally-smart tips for a less wasteful — perhaps less stressful — holiday this year:

GIFT BUYING
Check packaging. The less packaging, the better.
Look for recycled/recyclable packaging.
Buy things that are made well and are not trendy. They are less likely to wind up in the landfill in a few months.
Shop at second hand stores such as the Turnover Shop. Lovely gifts of all kinds can be found, including vintage dinnerware, and paintings.
Shop at the Wilton Library. There are beautiful gently used books for sale. 
Give gifts that promote sustainability such as stainless water bottles, thermoses, coffee cups. Some wonderful brands are Klean Kanteen, Contigo, and Keen.
Give gifts of doing- a membership to a local organization such as Ambler Farm, Woodcock Nature Center,  or the Wilton Historical Society.
Tickets to a production at the Wilton Playshop.
Shop locally! We have dozens of wonderful shops in and around town that are locally owned and operated. You will also save on fuel!

WRAPPING PAPER ALTERNATIVES 
*Forgo wrapping paper, which is often used once and thrown away. Most is not recyclable. Instead use:
Old maps
Sunday comics form the newspaper 
Bandannas
Colorful magazine pages
Paper grocery bags
Decorative tins, baskets or boxes. (If you do buy wrapping paper, look for ones made of recycled paper)
Reusable cloth ribbons can be used in place of plastic bows.

OTHERTIPS:
Unwrap gifts carefully and save wrappings for reuse next year.
Look for gifts that were made locally.
Buy a living tree and plant next spring.
Turn off holiday lights when you go to bed.
When entertaining, use plates, glasses, and cutlery that can be washed and re-used.
Send ecards instead of regular ones. You can even send out a holiday video! 

All in all, if you can incorporate some or all of these tips into your holiday, you’ll be be making a real difference! Have a very green holiday!

Dana Gips
President, Wilton Go Green
Some ideas from this article came from use-less-stuff.com