Recycling During the Holidays
By Finn Carlson
Grade 8 – SAMS
Most of us think of Christmas as a time of shiny decorations, bright lights and gifts. But the holidays are also a time of garbage, waste, and a large carbon footprint. Anything from wrapping paper, to incandescent Christmas lights and traveling by plane create a lot of garbage and greenhouse gases. Every year, twenty million tons of un-recyclable wrapping paper are thrown into landfills!
From November to December an average of 30 percent more garbage is produced! We can easily reduce the amount of waste we produce, and the size of our carbon footprint this year by: purchasing local gifts and making homemade gifts, creatively wrapping gifts or using eco-friendly wrapping paper, not traveling by plane and using LED Christmas lights rather than incandescent bulbs.
One of the biggest contributors to all the garbage produced during the holidays is wrapping paper. Regular wrapping paper is made from shiny foils and metallic paints that are not recyclable. Annually, twenty million tons of wrapping paper is thrown into landfills! We can greatly reduce this by changing our wrapping options. Eco-friendly wrapping paper from recycled materials or the comics section of the newspaper are both environmentally friendly options. Gift bags are another eco-friendly choice, because they can be reused multiple times. This Christmas, get creative with your wrapping paper and help the environment!
Buying local gifts and handmade gifts are one way we can reduce the waste at Christmas. When we buy local, we support the community and you do not have to go through the process of shipping and packaging, which create lots of greenhouse gases. Handmade gifts are another great option; the cost almost nothing to make, and they can be more meaningful than a bought gift. One of your relatives would probably appreciate a homemade batch of cookies more than some store-bought gift. Overall, buying local gifts and making homemade gifts can be more meaningful, and are much better for the environment.
Incandescent Christmas lights can have a bad impact on the environment.
Incandescent Christmas lights use tons of energy, while LED Christmas lights can take up to 90 percent less energy! LED light may be slightly more expensive than incandescent lights, but they are typically better quality and can last decades longer. Another problem with Christmas lights is that people leave them on all day, which also takes up a ton of energy. The simple solution is to just turn them off during the day! Think of your regular lights inside, you do not leave them on all day or when you are not using them, do you? You can have a greener Christmas by simply turning off your lights during the day, and by using LED Christmas lights.
During the holidays tons of greenhouse gases and garbage is produced. Whether it be through wrapping paper, incandescent light bulbs, or the production and shipment of factory produced goods. We can easily stop this waste by using creative forms of wrapping paper, using LED lights, buying local gifts, making homemade gifts, and traveling less. If everyone made a small effort to help the environment this Christmas, it would make a huge difference. This year try to have a greener, eco-friendlier Christmas. It’s not hard, and every effort counts.
A Recycling Christmas 2
By Seton Bernier and Sage Grey
Grade 4 – BCE
The day before Christmas there was nothing stirring except for a mouse. Everything in the North Pole was going pretty good until they ran out of things to use for toys. Santa was sitting there on the toilet thinking about what he could do about it.
An hour went by and he was still on the toilet. Finally he had an idea. The idea was to take the old sleigh that was broken and make a machine that will make recycling into toys. Miss Clause found the recycling and put it into the machine. It took a lot of recycling. But they did it. The elves were really happy they didn’t have to do any work. Except the Elf on the Shelf. They still had to make sure the kids were good for Santa.
Just one problem. Santa didn’t have a sleigh and even if he did it would be broken. “Oh no!” said Santa. “What are we going to do about this one?” So Santa went back to the toilet to think about this.
After about an hour he had another idea. The idea was to reverse the machine to a sleigh maker. So they took the extra toys and used them for the machine. It took about two hours. But it worked. Except they did not have enough for a steering wheel. So again Santa had to go back to the toilet to think. He had an idea. The idea was to take some coal that the bad kids are supposed to get. Only one more problem. What will the bad kids get?
After 20 minutes he had an idea. The idea was to give them some North Pole magic that will give them some snow. So he took a hot glue gun and glued the coal together and put it in the sleigh. He grabbed a small little bag and some North Pole magic and put it in the bag. Then he grabbed his magic sack and filled it with toys to give to the kids. So he put it on his sleigh. Including the North Pole magic. Then he put his steering wheel on the sleigh.
But there was one problem. He only had one hour left to do the whole world. He spent so much time on the toilet he hardly had time to deliver the presents to the good kids. And the bad kids North Pole magic. So he had to feed his reindeer lots of food so they could fly faster. So two elves got in the sleigh. And Santa of course he had to go down the chimney really fast before he ran out of time.
He came in with a big sack that he put milk and cookies in because he did not have time to deliver things. It worked, but they were so tired at the end. They got back to the North Pole at 7:00 in the morning. Santa had a two week sleep after that. And then he felt way better.