A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Make your holidays really ‘green’ — be good to the environment by reducing all that waste

By Sherri Farley
UK Extension Specialist

Often,  we associate environmental topics with springtime, but you can be environmentally friendly any time of the year. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s  Day, United States  household waste increases by about 25%.

This amounts to approximately 25 million tons of garbage.
The holidays are a great time to reduce your waste and get young people interested in the environment.

Sherri Farley

Here are some ways you and your children can reduce your impact on the environment while still enjoying the season and showing loved ones that you care:
• Donate to a charity the person cares about rather than giving a  traditional gift. Not only does it not produce waste, but the money will go toward a good cause.
• When giving gifts, encourage your children to offer their time. This could look like your child doing chores or errands, such as babysitting,instead of giving a tangible gift. Quality time such as movie nights or cooking together also  makes a great gift, especially for seniors who are looking to socialize. 
• Encourage your children to get creative and make gifts like scrapbooks  or cookbooks with favorite family recipes  to give to others as gifts.
• Bake items with your child to give away as gifts.
• Bring your reusable shopping bags when you go shopping for gifts or holiday dinner supplies.
• Ask your child to package items and wrap gifts using reusable materials  such as dish towels, beach towels, backpacks, or reusable bags.
• Have your child collect pinecones, branches ,and other natural items from your backyard as these can become  holiday decorations that are attractive and fun to make, and they can be composted once the holiday celebrations are over.
The Campbell County Cooperative Extension Service offers educational programs that serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Campbell County Cooperative Extension Service 

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