Christmas is responsible for more waste and consumption than any other holiday. North American’s trash increases by 25% over Christmas – which equates to 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill. By recognizing the incredible waste that is generated the urgency to do something becomes apparent. A truly useful or environment friendly gift is a better ecological choice. Here is a brief list of ideas to inspire you.
- For the homeowner – thermostat control that automatically turns the heat down at night. A low flow shower head attachment. A draft cozy (placed in front of doors to prevent drafts) and tubes of caulking or weather stripping. Dimmer switches or compact fluorescent bulbs. Hot water tank and hot water pipe insulation kits.
- For the gardener – subscription to an organic gardening magazine or a membership to a seed organization. Bird, bat and butterfly houses, baths and feeders – or the patterns to build them. A composting worm bin or a membership with an environmental group.
- Tickets to a performance, restaurant gift certificates or services such as lawn care, diaper, cleaning, music lessons, exercise or dance classes, tune-up or tire rotation services – all support local business.
- Dehydrated, canned or preserved foods make excellent gifts. Frozen dishes are treasured by those that find cooking tasks cumbersome.
- Brazil or cashew nuts as they promote a living tropical rainforest.
- Books (i.e. Trash Talk).
- A reusable coffee filter and whole organic coffee beans.
- If you choose to purchase electronics, consider those powered by solar or rechargeable batteries.
For holiday photo memories using a digital camera and getting pictures put on CD’s reduces chemicals, paper and cost. Choosing 36 exposure film rolls reduces packaging and waste.
Consider purchasing a live tree. At the end of the season, donate it to individuals, the city, schools or parks. Plant it in your own yard for privacy, shade or erosion control.
— Written by Dave and Lillian Brummet based on the concept of their new book Trash Talk, a guide for anyone concerned about his or her impact on the environment, that offers useful solutions to reduce waste and better manage resources.