**This is a reblog from Do It Green! Minnesota. Keep up the great work, guys!**
December is the time of year when many families gather to share a meal and to celebrate the season.
Whatever our backgrounds or traditions may be, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, America’s household waste increases by more than 25% which includes extra food, shopping bags, packaging, and wrapping paper.
Here are some easy ways to decrease waste this time of year:
- Give a non-material gift like tickets to a theatre, musical or sporting event.
- Give a trip to the zoo or to a museum.
- Spend quality time away from the mall with family and friends.
- Go sledding, skiing or cross country skiing, host a game night, or volunteer together.
- Give a membership to the Minnesota Tool Library or the Minneapolis Toy Library.
- Give the gift of your time, such as help with home improvement or gardening projects.
- Buy second hand presents. You can find unique treasures at thrift stores and antique stores.
- Pass on good books you’ve already read.
- Give a homemade gift like cookies, bread or jam.
- Consider using alternative gift wrap. Most wrapping paper is not recyclable. Wrap your presents in scarves or cloth, newspaper or brown paper using natural materials as decoration or try Furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping technique).
- Buy used decorations or make your own using natural materials.
- Use reusable tableware and cloth napkins when you entertain.