WasteWise Holidays: Make memories not waste

WasteWise Holidays: Make memories not waste
Posted on 11/29/2021

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the United States creates 5.8 million more tons of waste in December than in any other month of the year. That’s equivalent to 28,713 Boeing 747 airplanes.


Spend more time with loved ones this holiday season by getting crafty and using recyclable materials to create festive holiday decorations and giftwrap can help reduce the environmental impact of your holiday while creating fun new memories.


“One of the most effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday – aside from reducing food waste – is to focus on reusing materials you already have on hand to create decorations and gifts,” said Lane County Master Recycler Program Coordinator Kelly Bell. “Do-it-yourself ideas are easy to find on websites like Pinterest or SimplifyTheHolidays.org.”


Give DIY a try:

  • Use old greeting cards or used wrapping paper to make wreaths, tree ornaments, gift tags, snowflakes, garlands, bunting or other cheerful holiday decorations.
  • Have a gift-making get together and create soup mixes, hot chocolate kits, bath products, or other crafts to give as gifts during the holiday season. Many ingredients can be purchased in bulk, which saves on cost and single-use packaging.
  • Decorate cereal or shoe boxes to use as gift boxes, and use comics, maps, calendars or fabric in place of wrapping paper.


A 2019 poll from the Center for a New American Dream found that 3 out of 4 Americans wish that holidays were less materialistic. Creating DIY decorations and gifts is one way to prioritize making lasting holiday memories with children and loved ones that enrich the holiday experience, save money and reduce waste.


WasteWise Lane County

WasteWise Lane County offers education, tools and resources that residents, schools, and businesses can use to reduce waste, conserve resources and live more sustainably. Visit www.LaneCountyOR.gov/wastewise to learn more.