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Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle for a Greener Holiday

You may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but really all of should be striving for a green holiday! Let’s face it, with all the wrapping paper, cards, decor and packaging, we create a lot of waste while celebrating the season. So we have a few tips that can help you use the three Rs reduce, reuse and recycle to not only help the environment, but to save time, energy, and money as well.

So far this year, our partnership with Enphase Energy has created 15.4 MWh (megawatt hours) of power. In November, our office offset the amount of carbon produced by 11 trees (976 pounds of carbon). If we all work together, we can certainly make this a more eco-friendly holiday.   

Remember, It All Starts With Shopping.

  • Reduce the amount of plastic and paper bags you use by bringing your own some places may give you a discount for doing so. Or, if you do accept store bags, reuse them from store to store and shopping trip to shopping trip.
  • Reduce the amount of gas you use by combining your gift-searching sprees with your regular errands.
  • Reduce your spending on gifts that are heavy on packaging, especially if it’s materials that don’t recycle.

Get Creative with Wrapping and Gifting.

  • Reuse shopping bags for gift giving. Either add a bow or cut them apart and use them as wrapping paper. Or recycle newspapers and magazines you have at home as wrapping paper.
  • Reuse a basket, tin or jar you have on hand to hold your gift rather than a box or gift bag. Think how much you’ll save on wrapping paper!
  • Reduce the amount of things you give and give experiences instead. Has someone on your list mentioned wanting to go to a ball game or a concert or take a cooking or yoga class? Get tickets or a gift card! Or consider a do-it-yourself coupon book with babysitting for new parents or errands for those who don’t drive.
  • Recycle last year’s holiday cards as gift tags or let kids make ornaments out of them.

Donate the Old.

  • Reduce the amount of toy, clothes and small appliances going to the landfill by donating what you no longer need rather than throwing it out. Consider women’s shelters, Goodwill, or your local church.
  • Recycle the decorations you no longer use by donating them to local schools to use in their drama programs or to churches rather than tossing them in the trash.

Say It, Don’t Mail It.

  • Reduce the amount of paper waste by video chatting with friends and relatives over the holidays rather than mailing cards. If you just can’t imagine the holidays without cards, buy recycled ones. You can also use postcards to eliminate the need for an envelope. Or simply send e-cards. 
  • Recycle the cards and envelopes you receive from others.

Recycle that Tree.

  • Recycle your live tree so that it gets turned into mulch rather than taking up space in a landfill. Check with your community or city on curbside pickup days or drop-off centers.
  • Reduce the amount of trees that get cut down every holiday season by investing in an artificial tree. It saves on water, you can use it for years to come, and there are no needles to clean up.

The holiday season is about showing our love not to just family and friends but to nature as well. Here’s to a wonderful and green holiday season from those of us at O’Connor Insurance! 

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