Gift Ideas For the Planet: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle


Labeled for reuse edited by Lexi Riehl.

Good tidings we bring for you and your kin and the more trash we bring to you and your landfill. 

 “The amount of garbage [increases] by 25 percent from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day” said the Recycling Partnership Organization

The holidays are the season of giving, but what would it look like if people gave back to the earth?

On average, there are “25 million tons of garbage [in total, and] about 1 million extra tons per week” of trash produced during the holiday season. 

Garbage produced from non recyclable wrapping paper and ribbons, plastic cups and plates, and leftover food. Someone can help reduce trash produced by substituting certain items for the benefit of the planet to help bring even more cheer to the season.

“If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields,” said Stanford University

One idea to take into consideration is purchasing and using only recyclable wrapping paper for presents. Even though glitter paper is pretty and shiny, it eliminates the possibility of the paper being recycled.

All papers that have traces of foil, are laminated with plastic, or have left-over sticky tape won’t make the cut either. Try and substitute some holiday paper for previous recycled Christmas paper or even sacrifice wrapping a couple presents and use reusable holiday bags. 

After opening up presents on Christmas day, there is an abundance of beautiful red and green ribbons gathered up on the floor waiting to be thrown away, but what if everyone saved some? 

“If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet,” said Stanford University. 

In addition, at holiday parties or festivities don’t forget that everyone is a guest on Earth as well. Be conscious of how much trash is being produced. Be intentional by putting out a separate bin for recycled items. Also, to go the extra mile, use reusable glassware instead of using plastic cups. 

By doing this, “[fewer] products [will be put]  in landfills and some of the recycled products [will be] used to make other things,” said senior Katherine Farhart. 

If you have a green thumb or a big heart for being “green,” make a compost bin filled with peels while cooking to collect scrapped foods. With a little love, you can make a great soil for your very own garden or donate fresh compost to a local garden around town.

Let’s bring joy to the world by recycling our Christmas trees this holiday season. 

“Six million real Christmas trees will end up in landfills this year,” said Fresh Start Waste Management Company.

Instead of trashing a Christmas tree that will take years to decompose, consider buying a potted tree and planting it in the yard after the holidays or even buying a reusable fake tree. 

After the stores are flooded with people buying gifts for under the Christmas tree, plastic bags are being used like crazy. So, don’t forget to bring reusable bags for shopping instead of plastic bags from the store. No sense in bringing home plastic bags when you could be bringing home two gifts…for the person and the planet. Truly a win-win for everyone. 

Online shoppers can still be environmentally friendly as well. Delivery boxes can be broken down to be recycled, or even collect packaging peanuts to donate them to a local mail delivery company or store to be reused.  

Sophomore Rhianna Boyd said, “If we don’t respect the world world we live in, we are going to destroy it slowly and possibly make it inhabitable for ocean life or even us.”

What if there eventually were no trees left for Christmas or no more food to eat around the table with family and friends?

This holiday season, make the change to give back to the planet.