It’s officially the season of giving, receiving, eating, and...recycling? Okay, maybe we made that last one up. But, did you know that during the holiday season, Americans produce an additional one million tons of waste every week!? At RoadRunner, we’re all about celebrating the holidays enthusiastically, but like to do so in the least wasteful way possible. Rest assured, we’ll let you in on our secrets to best prepare you to sustainably celebrate the holidays too.
Even though this winter season may be completely different than years past, one thing remains the same: There will be a lot of trash filling our cans. Potentially even more than previous years given the general increase in online orders (and shipping materials), takeout meals, and other pandemic-related deliveries. The average American tosses out 25 percent more garbage during the holiday season—Thanksgiving to New Years—than any other time of the year. And, as we mentioned, with many of us more reliant on delivery services than ever, this means that we need to be both proactive and mindful about reducing the amount of waste we generate and dispose of! Here are some of RoadRunner’s top tips to help you make this holiday a “green” one.
TIPS FOR A GREENER HOLIDAY
Yes, it's possible to celebrate the holidays while reducing your waste!
25-30 million Christmas trees are sold every year
If you have a real Christmas tree, be sure to "tree-cycle". Most cities offer a curbside pickup for trees a few weeks after Christmas. You can also check with your municipality to find out when they are collecting them or areas for drop-off and composting. Another idea you may also want to consider as a more sustainable option is using an artificial tree, which can be reused each year and in the years to come!
The equivalent of 30 million trees are used to wrap gifts
Unfortunately, wrapping paper isn't recyclable. A more sustainable option it to use items you already have in your house! Newspaper, maps, book pages, and even brown paper bags (which you can draw on or decorate with sequins) are creative ways to “reuse” items you already have in your home.
2.6 billion holiday cards are sold in the United States alone
We may not want to admit it, but most cards are thrown out soon after receipt, or, at the very least, after the holiday season wraps up. This year, consider sending an e-card, making your own card, or using cards made from recycled materials. You could also personally wish your loved ones a happy holiday over the phone or in a video call. It’s often much more personal to speak to someone anyway, and more sustainable too!
$11 billion is spent on packaging; making up 30% of America’s trash
Look for gifts that are package-free or use minimal materials for shipping. Lush, the skin and body care brand, is a great example of a store that sells handmade soaps that are wrapped in paper instead of plastic packaging and other items in reusable containers, so you can always go back for more while staying eco-friendly.
We throw away 38,000 miles of ribbon
While you may be throwing out a little more this holiday season, be sure to set aside a box and save all the ribbon from your household's gifts. It'll come in handy next year when you have to wrap presents again and will be guilt-free since you're reusing items you already have on hand.
RoadRunner wishes you and yours a happy, healthy, and, of course, "green" holiday season! We would love to hear some of your tips on how you stay environmentally friendly throughout the holidays. Please leave a comment below or use the hashtag #RRGreenHoliday to stay connected. If you have any questions, never hesitate to contact us—We are always available to help businesses reach their sustainability goals, no matter what season.