At the Y
The holidays are a time of year when we produce an excess amount of waste. The waste comes from gift wrapping, packaging, food leftovers, decorating, greeting cards, etc.
There are ways that we can reduce holiday waste by re-thinking the traditional method of gift giving and decorating.
Do you have a special talent or skill? Consider donating your time and skills as a gift. This could be a nice way to spend time with that individual and give them something they can use.
Another option is to make a donation or volunteer your time to a charity for a cause that your friends or family also support. Another gift option is the gift of a ticket to a movie, concert, or sporting event.
Gift cards are also an option so that special someone can pick up something that they want.
When choosing what to wrap their gift in, re-think using traditional wrapping paper. Instead, wrap their gift in a scarf, newspaper, or re-use a gift bag.
Holiday dinners are also times when we generate a lot of waste. When planning your menu try to account for the number of people you have invited to reduce waste.
You can also send leftovers home with your guests in reusable containers so they do not get thrown out. Look up recipes for your leftovers to create new dishes. If you host a party and receive treats such as boxes of chocolates that you won’t eat, you can donate the unopened treats to a local food bank.
When decorating, pick pieces that will last for years to come or make your own ornaments from materials already in your home. These ornaments will last as keepsakes for you to enjoy year after year. It is important not to forget the environment when partaking in holiday celebrations.
Stacey Coombs is a membership services representative at the YMCA Association of Cumberland. At the Y appears bi-weekly in The Amherst News.