Christmas week is upon us! Many of us are finishing up our last minute obligations in preparation for the festivities ahead of us. We have purchased the gifts, perhaps had some shipped to us, unboxed them, wrapped them, and tagged them for friends and family. There’s little more satisfying in this season than watching little ones rip open presents. Once the day is over (or maybe the week depending on your traditions), we are left with some incredible memories…and a LOT of recycling.
We just so happen to love recyclable materials, (you might be able to spy some of our extruded waste candy canes in our tree), but we understand the plight of most municipalities to keep up with the abundance of materials that streams through their facility over the holiday season. The National Environmental Education Foundation reported that American’s waste is increased by 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It’s easy to see how that happens.
It seems obvious that Christmas Day is the major culprit for additional waste; boxes, bags, ribbon, wrapping paper, tissue, cards, decorations, food packaging…our bins are overflowing by the time they day is done! Most of us will sort it out appropriately in hopes that it will be recycled. National Geographic reported in 2018 that 91% of our plastic is not recycled. This feels like a defeating statistic, so what can we do to reduce our waste this holiday season? Here are our top 5 suggestions to reduce your footprint this holiday season.
1. Consider gifting people experiences instead of items. Things like theater tickets, membership passes to the zoo or aquarium, or passes to a yoga studio are all thoughtful and in many cases can last longer than a disposable gift.
2. Purchase from companies that make their products from sustainable sources.
3. Wrap gifts in recycled materials, like the comic section of your newspaper, a basket, or fabric.
4. Buy vintage, or second hand gifts. Most people have a collection of something, and there’s sure to be a great vintage find on your local buy and sell site.
5. Check with local farmers to see if they would like your tree for their goats or chickens to enjoy.
Plastic can be a valuable resource in its recycled form, turning them back into refinished goods. This is the ideal solution to the problem that we have. Omachron has developed a compact, inexpensive low energy process that can take moderately contaminated plastic including paper labels, even mixes of different plastic types, and locally make it into hundreds of useful products. The ever growing assortment of products ranges from patio tiles, plastic lumber, roofing and siding materials to furniture, floating docks, tool boxes and totes, storage sheds, toys, boats, and a wide range of other products.
Our goal for the circular economy is that municipalities, private businesses, and individuals have the ability to utilize this equipment so that we can bring that staggering figure of 9% of plastics being recycled up substantially in the years to come.
While we take our recycling technology very seriously, we made some time this month and had fun creating some crafts from our waste plastic.