Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 8:22am
The holiday shopping season is a time when we search for perfect gifts for our friends and family and plan get togethers to celebrate the season. Unfortunately many we also generate a lot of extra waste.
"As you plan this year's holiday shopping, why not look for gifts that won't contribute to our waste stream," Madison Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann said. "There are plenty of great presents that won't require any cleaning up after they are opened and enjoyed."
Gift Giving Alternatives
It can be a struggle finding the perfect gift for friends or relatives. What size? What color? Do they already have the new Springsteen CD?
This year, instead of giving consumer goods, why not give the folks on your gift list an" Experience". For example:
Tickets to a sporting event or concert
A gift certificate for a message
A certificate for a meal at the favorite restaurant
Another great alternative to consumer goods is to give the gift of your time. Considering offer to baby sit, do household chores, help organize family photos, or offer to drive friends who do not have a car.
"Two of my favorite gifts are cloth shopping bags and rechargeable batteries," Dreckmann said. "It will help your friends reduce waste all year round."
When it comes to holiday parties, we often plan for convenience and that generates lots of waste. Every year Madison's refuse jumps over 100 tons after the holidays.
"All those paper plates and plastic cups make for tons of extra waste every December," Dreckmann said. "Using china and silverware reduces waste and adds a touch of class to your holiday entertaining.
"Think about the fact that we have come to believe that the effort needed to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it like a fork, truck it to a store and bring it home is considered less effort than washing the fork when you are done with it," Dreckmann said.
- George Dreckmann, 267-2626