Jayden Lim (University High School)
The holidays are always a great time to celebrate with your loved ones, have great food, decorate your house, and unwrap gifts. The house glistened with all those new festive decorations with big colorful, wrapped boxes of presents under the Christmas tree. The smell of the food coming from the kitchen and the cookies baking in the oven. But where do all of those unwrapped gifts, festive decorations, and food waste go after the holidays? Between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, 25 percent more trash is thrown away. Plastic, gift wraps, and food waste drastically increases the landfill waste every year during the holidays. Food waste is about 30 to 40 percent of landfill waste, which greatly increases during Christmas. Climate change is already bad enough as it is and it’s not that hard to make a difference.
So how can you make a difference to help the environment during the holidays? It’s quite simple: Things such as little red ribbons and bow ties could easily be reused for next year instead of being thrown away. Ribbons aren’t supposed to be torn or ripped off, they can be unwrapped carefully and be used next year. Furthermore, the wrapping paper people rip apart is just tossed away to create more landfill waste. Each family uses a drastic amount of wrapping paper for each present, and 2.3 million pounds of the torn apart wrapping paper goes to landfills. Alternative ways of wrapping paper is just simply carefully unwrapping the present instead of tearing it apart. By carefully unwrapping the present you can easily reuse it for next year and help the environment. Another alternative way for wrapping paper is using baskets and covering it with a blanket sheet or some sort of reusable material. Sure it’s not as festive but it’s certainly more jolly than the planet being on fire. If every family were to do this during the holidays, the amount of landfill waste can greatly decrease with just a simple change.
Food waste can easily be avoided too, just don’t throw it away. Either finish the food or put it in the fridge for leftovers, by doing this you help the environment and save a trip to the market. Christmas trees are also a big factor during the holidays, do you really need a new tree every year? The amount of trees chopped down every Christmas is absurd, alternative ways are taking care of the tree for next year or buying a fake Christmas tree. My family has been using the same fake Christmas tree for 5 years and not only does it help the environment but it also saves so much time and looks exactly the same as a regular Christmas tree. A little change from each family is a huge change for the environment, these festive decorations always have alternative uses. Nobody wants to celebrate the Holidays with climate change, not even Santa Claus.