Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How Many Bags?

By Liz Neroni, Naturalist

Grocery store paper bag, all natural hemp twine and a piece of evergreen

‘The most wonderful time of the year!’ is a saying we have all heard. With the chance of sounding like the Grinch, I would probably disagree. First, I don’t enjoy the cold temperatures outside. I feel commercialism and materialism is amplified spreading the ‘gimme and the wants’ rather than cheer. However, the thing I hate most of all is the waste created throughout the holiday season.

The little moments of wonder, like the first snow fall, time spent with family and friends, helping those in need, enjoying a warm and yummy meal, and participating in meaningful traditions is what is truly important. Yet, these things seem to get lost in the purchasing and preparation of a single day.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, what will happen to this item after I purchase it? Why am I buying this, who am I buying it from, where did it come from? These are HARD questions to ask. However, searching for the answer is more important than ever.

This holiday, ask yourself, “How many bags of trash will I set out after Christmas Day?” A study done at Stanford University states that Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s then the rest of the year. This means an extra 25 million tons of garbage is produced and sent to the landfill….. that’s not a Grinchy pessimistic viewpoint, that’s a fact.

I think we can do better. An easy first transitioning step to creating less waste is by wrapping our gifts differently. Wax or glitter covered paper, plastic bags & bows, and even tissue paper are not eco-friendly options. I know I still have reserves of these typical wrapping supplies, so I will use them. However, I will never purchase anymore after they are gone. Instead, try using paper, reusable baskets or bags, cloth, and biodegradable/ compostable rope and decor. These wrapping alternatives can reduce the amount of single use items filling those garbage bags. The gift-giving itself, should be the focus, not what it looks like on the outside. With that being said, using all-natural wrapping is beautiful too and, in more ways, than one!

Share This Post:
Share This Post