Curb Holiday Waste With Green Gifting

BUTTONTREE_8692A[1]The holiday season is a festive time with events and family gatherings. It is also a time to be more sensitive to the environment.

The amount of trash generated in our households and in our businesses can increase significantly during the holidays. It starts with Thanksgiving, the biggest food week of the year.

Farmers and recycling advocates encourage us to remember to place all food scraps from holiday meals in the green compost bins for curbside collection. If your city does not have curbside compost collection, try backyard composting.

Many of the cities we service have embraced composting, however, our data shows that we still can compost far more of our discards. Waste audits show that approximately 50% of the trash we send to landfill could, and should, be composted.

Here are two great reasons to be more attentive composters:

  • City compost programs keep materials out of landfills and gives farmers a viable alternative to using liquid or chemical fertilizers. So when we compost, we help farmers grow healthy food that finds its way back to local farmers’ markets and to our own tables.
  • Good-quality compost is 50% humus by weight, which is a natural sponge that attracts and retains water for plants. So when we create compost to be used on local farms, we help save water.


During the holidays, we can also consider gifts that have little or no packaging, or are presented in containers that can be reused.

People often find such gifts thoughtful and useful. Examples include: theater tickets, a gift card to a nice restaurant, metal boxes for lunches and healthy snacks, and reusable jars, which serve as great containers for coffee beans, loose-leaf teas, and other fragrant and tasty products.

If the gifts you give require packaging for transport, please opt for packing materials that can be recycled. Tissue paper and cardboard boxes are accepted in all recycling programs.

Try to avoid purchasing items that are packaged with multiple materials (such as paper gift bags with plastic handles). This makes the item difficult to recycle.

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