‘Tis the season for sustainability | Guest column

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:52pm
  • Opinion

Ready or not, the holidays are here! That means it’s time for friends, family, hot chocolate and, of course, gift giving. But with all that good cheer and gift giving comes a whole lot of waste. The recycling experts at WM have some yuletide tips that’ll make this your greenest holiday season yet.

Let’s start with that holiday gift list. Consider giving experiences or zero-waste gifts such as music or sports lessons, gym memberships, or tickets to a sporting event or concert. You can even make your own gift certificates for a special dinner for two at home or night out at the local art walk or a movie theater. And don’t forget thrift stores and consignment shops. You can often find one-of- a-kind items and stretch your money much further.

When it comes to wrapping those special gifts, avoid generating waste by making your own recycled wrapping paper with old maps, posters or pages from the newspaper or magazines. The comics section can be particularly good for a pop of bright color.

For holiday greetings and party invitations, consider e-cards. They’re great for sharing photos and keeping in touch while saving paper and postage.

Another way to green your holidays and put some green into your neighbor’s pockets is shopping local. By supporting Snoqualmie stores and businesses, you’ll find unique gifts and reduce your carbon footprint. (Remember your reusable shopping bags!)

When your online orders arrive, remember that most packaging is recyclable. Cardboard boxes and non-foil gift wrap can go into your recycling cart.

What about decorating? Get creative and use recycled or compostable materials for your decorations this season. Decorate your home with paper snowflakes made from junk mail, hang garlands strung with popcorn and cranberries, get festive with an army of gingerbread men, and set out fragrant bundles of cinnamon sticks or ornaments of dried orange slices to make your home smell like your favorite holiday memories.

Kids love getting involved in the decorations. So, when the next rainy day arrives like, say…tomorrow, try some DIY decorations to enjoy now and compost later.

The holidays are the perfect reminder to cherish the earth as much as we do our friends and family, so reduce your waste and give the gift of sustainability this holiday season.

Michelle Metzler is Waste Management’s recycling education and outreach manager. Learn more at sustainability.wm.com.

More in Opinion

Hope springs from Florida school shooting, in youth movement | Letter

There is a sliver of hope amidst the utter gloom of the… Continue reading

If our leaders won’t change gun laws, it’s time to change our leaders| Letter

I couldn’t sleep last Wednesday. I tossed and turned, the images of… Continue reading

King County wasn’t named for Dr. King, but renamed | Letter

While perusing your website, I came across a headline (Martin Luther King’s… Continue reading

Community support made Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank a reality | Letter

The Board of Directors of the Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank, now celebrating… Continue reading

Give President Trump a chance | Letter

Why is it that when Clinton and Obama said we needed a… Continue reading

Tell legislators we need progressive school funding model | Letter

As the McCleary tax bills are coming out, voters are starting to… Continue reading

Five reasons to love your recycling driver | Column

How sweet it is! February is the month for love, for reminding… Continue reading

Greetings from new KCLS Director | Column

As the new Director of the King County Library System, I am… Continue reading

Most Read