By Anna Tu
With the holidays now approaching, it is time to start thinking about Christmas gifts for friends and loved ones. There is nothing like the gift of giving, however for many of us, Christmas has become a time of environmental waste. From holiday spending trends to patterns of consumption, many Americans are forgetting about the staggering effects of holiday waste on the environment.
According to 1st-ecofriendlyplanet.com, every year 2.65 billion Christmas cards are sold in the United States which is enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Along with that, wrapping paper and shopping bags accumulate up to four million tons of trash each year in the United States.
So what can we do about the waste contributed each year from Christmas time? Well, we can start by making a change this year. Think about how many household items remain unused and eventually go to waste. We can reuse these items as supplies to make fun green crafts this holiday. By reusing household items in green crafts, we can reduce the amount of waste in our landfills.
Here are some recycled craft ideas to make your holidays a little more green:
- Reuse old Christmas cards to make gift tags or decoration for gift boxes.
- Reuse scraps of saved wrapping paper and glue them to the inside of gift boxes for an eye-popping effect. You can also use these scraps to make your own Christmas cards.
- Reuse glass jars to make holiday candles or simply just use it as a decorative flower vase!
- Reuse fabric and colorful scrap paper to create your own wrapping paper. You can add some flare by tying some ribbon around your gift.
- Use your creativity to think of how you can turn some unused household items into fun holiday crafts.
- Recycle old Christmas lights. “Every part of the light strings is recycled,” according to Maggie Mattacola, spokesperson for The Recycling Association of Minnesota. Here is a list of 419 locations all over Minnesota to bring your old holiday lights to be recycled properly: http://www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/campaigns/ryh-11-12#map