Ho-Ho-Hold The Waste This Holiday Season – Los Alamos Reporter

Zero waste tip: Use your creativity to reduce, reuse and recycle when giving Christmas gifts. Not only will you show love for your friends and family, but also for Mother Earth.


A classic Christmas tale is “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. In the short story, a young couple struggles, because money is scarce, to buy Christmas presents for each other. As a result, Della and Jim Young get creative and each sacrifice a price to secure the necessary funds. Della sells her hair and Jim pledges his watch. The twist is that the Youngs buy gifts for each other’s possessions – Jim gives Della combs to put in his hair and Della buys Jim a chain for his watch.

The moral of the story is the greatest gift a person can give to someone else, and that is love. But perhaps a lesser-known message is to get creative during giveaway season.

With this year’s holiday season in full swing, consider being like Della and Jim Young. Use your creativity to reduce, reuse and recycle when giving Christmas gifts. Not only will you show love for your friends and family, but also for Mother Earth.

The internet is full of helpful tips and resources for using sustainability while on vacation.

For example, homeresource.org suggests the following for low waste giveaways:

  • Give great experiences as a gift, such as tickets to film festivals, concerts, cooking classes, gym memberships or vacations.
  • Donate on behalf of a loved one to a nonprofit or send a gift card from a charity such as Global donations, and let them choose their own nonprofit
  • Donate zero waste essentials such as jars, reusable containers and bags.
  • Shop at consignment stores and thrift stores.
  • Find things that someone else could use.
  • Cook or donate foods that you know someone will enjoy.
  • Give biodegradable and compostable gifts, including toothbrushes, sponges, bath salts or plants
  • Make your own gifts like a potpourri or a photo album.

If you shop in stores, there are things you can do to reduce waste. For example, fcgov.com suggests:

  • When shopping, bring a reusable tote bag rather than accepting a separate bag for
    every purchase.
  • Ask for either a box or a bag, but not both, to keep your purchases.
  • Choose products with little packaging.
  • Buy lightly used items from a thrift store.

For wrapping gifts, there are alternatives to wrapping paper. The website, www.rethinkrecycling.com, offers alternatives such as:

  • Scarves, handkerchiefs and bandanas
  • Old posters and cards
  • Newspapers
  • Reusable containers like cookie boxes, flower pots and baskets or wrap the gift in cloth napkins or kitchen towels
  • Create a “treasure map” to find an unwrapped gift hidden elsewhere in the house
  • children’s artwork or your own
  • Photos taken from old magazines, catalogs and calendars
  • Reusable or reused gift bags
  • Wrapping paper made from recycled paper

You don’t have to spend a lot of money or use a lot of packaging to make a great gift. As The Gift of the Magi reveals, it is the thought that matters both to loved ones and to the planet.

Need more advice, or have questions? Visit the Zero Waste webpage for more resources LOSALAMOSNM.US/GOGREEN or contact the Zero Waste team by email at ZWLA@LACNM.US. Find us on Facebook, search for Zero Waste Los Alamos https://www.facebook.com/groups/2285756771701167.

The Zero Waste team was formed under the leadership of the Environmental Sustainability Board. Comprised of community volunteers and Los Alamos County employees, the team is focused on providing educational materials to the community regarding waste reduction, greenhouse gas minimization and conservation of the environment. energy and water. Parts of the team work with groups such as restaurateurs, businesses, schools and residents.


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