Be Green This Holiday Season

Did you know that Americans throw 25% more trash away from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than during any other time of the year? While we gather with friends and family to celebrate, let’s keep our City green this holiday season. Here are some tips to keep waste out of our local landfill and reduce our environmental impact:

  1. Decorate your home using LED holiday lights to save energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, they use up to 75% less energy, and last 25 times as long. They’re also safer to use in your home, as LEDs don’t get hot to the touch like traditional decorative incandescent lights.
  2. Wrap your holiday gifts in used or recyclable material to reduce your waste. If every American family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. This year, try gift wrapping with newspaper, a reusable bag, or gift an item that will help someone reduce their long-term waste like a reusable coffee mug or water bottle. Better yet, gift an experience such as a movie pass, meal, or an exercise/creative arts class.
  3. Shop local for holiday meals this year or opt for a meatless feast. The average American meal travels about 1,500 miles from farm to plate. Visit the local Farmers Market for fresh local produce to reduce your food’s environmental impact. On a budget? All local Farmers Markets accept CalFresh EBT and will match a $10 purchase with an additional $10 for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  4. Throwing a party? Provide reusable or compostable dishes and utensils to keep plastic out of our landfills. It can take a plastic fork or plate up to 1,000 years to decompose. This year, try serving on reusable or compostable dishware to keep our oceans cleaner and plastic out of our landfill.
  5. Reduce your paper waste by sending a holiday e-card to friends and family. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one less card, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.
  6. Donate or compost your holiday leftovers to reduce your food waste. Americans waste 150,000 tons of food per day. Did you know that the City of Goleta has paired up with MarBorg Industries to provide up to two free Earth machine compost bins per household? Let’s work together to keep organic waste out of our landfills. Alternatively, you can donate your leftover canned goods and items to the Santa Barbara County Food Bank. Here are some guidelines for donations.