Focus on being sustainable this holiday

Have a sustainable holiday!

What is a sustainable holiday? A holiday season that keeps in mind the earth’s resources consumed and the waste produced, making thoughtful choices about entertaining, decorating, traveling, and gift giving.

The Copper Country Recycling Initiative has some suggestions about celebrating with consciousness about consuming thoughtfully.

Keep the three R’s in mind. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Probably most people have boxes of ornaments and decorations that get unpacked every year for the tree, the mantle, and the table. Perhaps the tree is artificial and also gets reused each year or comes from the woods or a local grower. There is the Reuse part.  Reuse wrapping paper or ribbons and bows. Or wrap packages in pieces of fabric or comics pages.

Create less waste when entertaining by passing up disposable plates, cups, and tableware. Bring out the cloth napkins instead of paper. Send  leftovers packed in recyclable containers home with the guests. Cook from scratch instead of purchasing ready made foods that come with lots of packaging. 

Participate in the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce campaign to “Shop local. Shop small.” Your purchases will support Copper Country businesses and reduce the carbon footprint of packaging and shipping. Remember to bring cloth bags when shopping. This year, more than ever, gift cards are at the top of everyone’s list. Welcome for Senior Citizens who don’t want more “stuff” and teenagers who are hard to buy for. A gift card for local restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, etc. will be most welcome and make the shopping list less of a headache. Be creative with ski lift tickets, tickets to the movies, the theatre, gym memberships, hair cuts, massages . . . the list goes on.

And finally, recycle. We are fortunate to have recycling available curbside in Hancock and Houghton, and available at the Transfer Station and Waste Management. Flatten the cardboard boxes, rinse out cans, glass, and plastic containers. No plastic bags or styrofoam in the recycling. If in doubt, throw it out. For more information about recycling, go to the websites  recycle906.com, and coppercountryrecyclereuse.com.

Keep the earth in mind this holiday season.


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