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Enough Already In The Land of Plenty

Dec 10, 2009 by marlene z. | Story Popularity: 1

Taken from the Blog on www.consumerchange.com

According to Use Less Stuff, Americans generate an extra 6 million tons of waste in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yikes! Even though I love this season, (the music, the smell of cinnamon, lots of free samples, everything bundled up looking so pretty in ribbon) I cringe at its excesses.

In this week's Blog we have gathered up some of the retail eco-sins of the holidays.

Samples

Everyone loves free food. And around Holiday season it probably is the sweet and yummy kind. However samples probably mean disposable plates, napkins, toothpicks, cups etc.

What you can do: Try to resist samples unless you are really interested in buying an item. Ask companies to use environmentally friendly plates, napkins etc. and to compost or recycle them. A recent review of Costco highlighted the issue very clearly. You can read the Review and the corresponding response here.

Too much stuff

Reduce is the most important of the three R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). Yet shops are filled with decorations and advertising - all nice to see but it's likely all will end up in a landfill by January.

What you can do: Ask shops to recycle their decorations and advertising signs. Not just put them in the recycling bin but actually store them for use in future years.

Want to do more? Around holiday season the messaging is all about buying more more more! Sales can provide really good bargains but you only save money if you were going to buy the item anyway. Reduce the amount you buy to what is really needed. Shop in thrift stores to buy unique gifts or make your gifts to add a personal touch.

Catalogs

A hot topic for me personally as I spent over an hour this Sunday calling various catalog companies asking to be removed from their mailing list. We will have an entire Blog dedicated to catalogs here shortly.

Overpackaging

Love the ribbons and giftwrap but again, they are just landfill potential.

What you can do: Review packaging carefully, ask companies to use packaging that has recycled content and is recyclable. Otherwise it is pretty in the store but just landfill trash later. You can use Calculess,net to calculate the environmental impact of packaging: greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and post-consumer solid waste.

For your own gifts, use reusable gift bags or make your own paper packaging by using old newspapers.



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