January 6th is the twelfth day of Christmas, and it is now past. In medieval times in Christian countries, Christmas was a holy day and Twelfth Night was the holiday. Here and now, except for those who observe Epiphany, and those cultures who celebrate Little Christmas, January 6th is just another day. Some over achievers rush to take down their holiday decorations as soon as Christmas is past, and some wait for the first weekend after New Year’s. But now, Christmas is really over and the clean up begins.
To give an idea of just how much clean-up and waste is involved during the holiday season, consider these statistics:
- 33 million Christmas trees are bought, on average
- Over a billion Christmas cards are purchased
- 83 square km of wrapping paper
- 125,000 tons foam peanuts and plastic filler is used for packing
All of this stuff goes into landfills or incinerators every year. All of this stuff and more holiday items adds up to 25 million tons of trash every year. I don’t mean to kill your holiday joy and become the Grinch. All I’m saying is that there are ways to reduce the waste as well as make cleanup easier next time.
- Consider renting decorations and having a professional hang and remove your outside lighting
- Consider buying a fake Christmas tree instead of a real tree. No, really, they look much better than they used to and some even have built in LED lights
- Buy wrapping paper after the holidays to save money, and if you use plain paper jazzed up with ribbons, etc. then you don’t need different paper for each holiday, birthday, anniversary and …
- Buy holiday cards in bulk after the holidays to save money
- Remember: Quality over quantity when buying gifts
- Gifts are quickly forgotten, but experiences aren’t, so give tickets for concerts, dance lessons, spa days, etc.
- Reuse shipping boxes
- Re-gift unwanted gifts (yes, I know that’s controversial) or give them to a local charity
- When you put away your new cherished items take advantage of the opportunity to pull out the items you no longer cherish or even use and donate them to a local charity
Start the New Year on the right foot. Reduce, reuse and organize what’s left.