JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV. 23, 2022 – ‘Tis the season to be giving. This holiday season, give a gift back to the environment by being mindful about how you celebrate. Americans typically generate the largest amount of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. As you plan your holiday events and gatherings, add a bit of “green” to your party theme. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources shares these tips to maximize your holiday cheer while also being environmentally friendly:
- Think before you give. As you choose gifts for friends and family, consider making them yourself. Create homemade snow globes with old glass jars or fill them with cookie and cake mixes for a sweet treat. Repurpose meaningful t-shirts to make a cozy quilt.
- Count your blessings. It’s estimated that more food enters landfills than any other single material in our trash. Adjust your recipes to fit the number of guests. This will leave less left-overs and reduce waste. If you do have food waste, compost as much as possible.
- Have an extra-green Christmas tree. If you’re pining for a cut tree, shop at a local tree farm. Buying locally means traveling fewer miles, which creates fewer emissions for a healthier environment. Also, consider a Missouri-native potted tree that can be replanted outside after the holidays.
- May your holidays be merry and bright. When stringing decorative lights, opt for LED, which have a longer life and use less energy than regular lights. Use a timer that automatically turns lights off and on.
- That’s a wrap. When the parties are all over and it’s time to tidy up, save wrapping paper and bags for use on next year’s gifts. If you bought a cut tree, it can be chipped and used for mulch, or it can be turned into habitat for fish or other wildlife.
With a little creativity and planning, you can help alleviate unnecessary waste in our landfills, save money and have a tree-mendous holiday!
For more information on recycling, reuse and composting, contact the department's Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401, or visit our website at dnr.mo.gov/document-search/green-tips-seasons-holidays-pub2993/pub2993.