Listen to Meaghan O'Neill's suggestions for greening up your holiday cleanup.
Nationwide, there was a lot of focus this year on how to green up your holiday season
, and with good reason: Half the country is broke, the atmosphere is falling apart, and many of us are plain done with the stress of running ourselves ragged to buy gifts that nobody really wants just so we can fulfill the tradition of giving and receiving. At TreeHugger
and Planet Green
, we offered dozens of solutions to Christmas-as-usual, hundreds of green holiday gifts
, and even recipes
to make your holiday a little brighter and lighter.
One of the main things we talk about is dematerializing the holidays; that is, choosing gifts that are small, experiential, or consumable, such as tickets to a ballet, a spa gift certificate, or donations in your giftee's name. Still, there's much to be said for the cheeriness of holiday décor and thoughtful gift-giving, but when the gifts are unwrapped and the tree comes down, the question remains: What to do with all the stuff that's literally littering our homes?
In the United States, our waste stream increases by about 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's, bringing the total amount of stuff we toss out to more than 25 million tons. With landfills being one of the top sources of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, it pays to pay attention to how to we dispose of the extraneous stuff we gather at this time of year. With that in mind, here are 10 solutions for dealing with post-holiday clutter...1. Mulch that tree.
If you've chosen to use a live tree this year, make sure it's disposed of properly. If your city doesn't have a curbside pickup program, find out where you can deliver it so it can be mulched or used for landscaping, not landfill. For info about your area, check out Earth 911