Shop Products
Houzz Logo Print
bluemarble

Happy holidays and the conservation dilemma

last year

Hello, houzz community. I was inspired to start this discussion because of recent comments posted to a dilemma regarding holiday collectibles vs disposability. The idea of buying new home decor to stage a party then throw it all away when the guests are gone kind of shocked me. This wasn't just paper plates and napkins, but decorations and dishes.

I'm curious if this is common, the practice and the indifference. Houzz is a community of real talent, creativity and kindness. Please share how you make an effort to enjoy the holidays with regard for the planet and all of its inhabitants. I would also implore each of us to kindly offer alternatives to those around us who show such disregard any time of the year.

It's encouraging to read about community members donating time, muscle and used goods, caring for backyard critters through the winter, shopping the basement or hosting exchanges. I'm sure you all have great and specific ideas...like repurposing Christmas cards as gift tags or literally taking the disposed of holiday decor back out of the trash!

I collect cardboard boxes from friends and family to break down for recycling, try to buy things that have lasting power, and rarely feel the need to replace anything yearly (not doing something can be good for the planet, too). We can enjoy each other and the holidays with last year's - or great-grandma's - dishes. I bought Christmas china 20 years ago (service for 8) for $40 from an overstock warehouse. It still makes me smile. Some might think at that price, you could replace it every year. My ask is that you don't. Pretty please.

Comments (57)

  • last year

    Virtue signaling. 馃檮 People don鈥檛 purchase Holiday decorations and party items and just throw them away after a party.

  • last year

    The comment about people just picking up the tablecloth with dishes and all still on it and throwing it all away sounded ridiculous and if anyone really did that I would be shocked. Seriously. You would need a dumpster.


    We also have a Buy Nothing group (Facebook or NextDoor? Not sure which) as well as for sale or free on NextDoor. I have given away garden plants that I divided and furniture that way.


    I do not know and never have known anyone who just tosses new stuff bought for entertaining once the party is over. I think I would be so appalled that I would never attend anything at that person's house again. In fact, I would most likely avoid all contact with them.


    We have 8 billion people on the planet now. World population has doubled since 1970. We really do need to think about how much we consume and how much trash we generate, much of which is not biodegradable. I cannot imagine not caring about that.

    bluemarble thanked cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)
  • last year

    I can't even fathom the need to buy furniture etc. just for the holidays. In years past, I would save Christmas cards sent to us, cut them up and re=use as gift tags for the following years. When buying clothing as gifts, I would take the box, wrap the top of it in wrapping paper and all people would have to do, is pick up the top of it, never a need to rip paper. We would re-use year after year. This year, I'm contemplating furoshiki for wrapping gifts. I'm also known to iron tissue paper, wrapping paper to use again and am a big fan and supporter of our Buy Nothing and Recycle groups on FB. I've given and received many, many items. It hurts me to think of all the things that people toss when others can use them.

    bluemarble thanked orchidrain
  • last year

    cyn427, that was my first thought as well. If I saw that happen at a party, I would do my best to not leave it behind, and I would have a very hard time ever going back.

    orchidrain, thanks for the tips. I love the idea of furoshiki wrapping, and I'm sure my kids would like that idea. We do reuse paper and tags as well. I must confess, I have not ironed tissue paper, just reused it even if it was wrinkled!

  • last year

    Where are you seeing that people throw out all this stuff after using it for one party?


    We have rented dinnerware, glasses, linens etc for big parties. The most wasteful item would be an ice sculpture that melted. We used the water on the lawn.


    bluemarble thanked maddielee
  • last year

    maddielee, I read the comment recently on one of the dilemmas. I was struck by how nobody addressed it...including me. I thought about it again today, and wondered if people just didn't want to hijack the dilemma with a discussion about waste. I decided to create a post to find out if it was even a slightly common practice, and for people to share ways to NOT create so much waste. Maybe someone who doesn't normally think too much about it will reconsider their usual practice. I've also read about how people will buy stuff from thrift stores to ease their conscience about buying new, and then throw it away after one-time use.

  • last year

    I confess! I have in fact bought holiday dishware especially for one party, used them and thrown them in the trash. Of course, they were the paper disposable kind!

    *Sigh* if age has taught me anything, it's to never say "Oh that's so stupid no one would ever do such and such." because you can bet that yes, someone has. :-(

    bluemarble thanked nickel_kg
  • last year

    It鈥檚 pretty clear to me that stores like Home Goods wouldn鈥檛 exist if enough people didn鈥檛 buy disposable decor. It鈥檚 whole room/home decor in trolleys for every holiday. If it鈥檚 kept for even two years use I鈥檇 be surprised.

    bluemarble thanked Anne Duke
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    I don't even like disposable plates and plastic cups/forks, unless absolutely necessary. For parties, I use "Preserve". They're plastic, but reusable and dishwasher friendly. The plates and cups stack up really small and take up very little storage space. If I must use disposable things, I try to get compostable ones whenever feasible (except for anything really hot). If you want nice dinnerware for a party, you can rent it for crying out loud!



    For Xmas decor, I have an extremely minimal amount. I rarely buy new stuff, and only if I need it or I find something extremely special, that truly "sparks joy". Everything fits into one rubbermaid bin.

    I used to think fake trees were better for the environment but they're quite the opposite. Think about how it's manufactured. And where does it go when you throw it away? That's a big hunk of plastic. Real trees (from tree farms) are leaps and bounds better (as long as you don't cover it in tinel or fake snow. you need to be able to send it to the chipper, or chop it up for firewood!) However, I bought my fake tree years before I learned that fact. It's 18 years old and going strong. I'll keep using it until it falls apart, but it seems to have many good years left. Once it goes, no more fake trees for me.

    If you want to make a big impact decorating for your party while having a smaller footprint, use paper! (like garlands of snowflakes or stars, etc.) Borrow decor from friends. Rent stuff.

    bluemarble thanked User
  • last year

    " I read the comment recently on one of the dilemmas. I was struck by how nobody addressed it... "

    There's the problem - you're hanging out in the wrong places/forums and with the wrong people! 馃槈

    The older I get the more I am turning into my grandmother, bags of bags, boxes of boxes and I save every piece of packing paper, ribbon, yarn - anything that can be used in wrapping and to make a pretty presentation - and then I pick it all up and do it again. Can't remember the last time I bought actual wrapping paper. I'll be doing potato stamping on packing paper (from our move 8 years ago) with my 5 year old granddaughter to use for holiday presents this year. Pillow cases are great for odd shaped items then back in the linen closet. Disposable decor? I can't understand that. When it's time for me to let go of something it's donated if it's still worthy of use to someone else.

    bluemarble thanked DLM2000-GW
  • last year

    nickel, no judgement on your paper products! I understood that it was actual holiday decor and actual dishes for one time use. And, you are so right about how we shouldn't be surprised by what people do. And yet I was surprised.

    Anne, you bring up a good point. It's not just for the holidays that people buy for one time use. As the population grows around the world and more waste is being created, waste that ends up in someone else's community, in the oceans and in other countries where they aren't even creating the type of waste we produce, there has to come a time when each of us recognizes a change is necessary.

    SeattleMCM, great comments. I'll look into getting Preserve products. For people who feel the need for something different every year, renting really does sound like the way to go. I'm totally with you on the fake vs real tree thing. I have wavered over the years as well. Maybe we should go paper with our trees, too!

    DLM2000, I promise to not hang out with the wrong crowd haha. It was a situation of "I have a few minutes to jump on houzz." I saw that comment, and my mouth dropped open. The person who wrote it seemed as disappointed by the practice as all of us here. There was discussion about how some people aren't interested in storing stuff. So the solution is to pollute the earth with it? I also have bags of bags and boxes of boxes! You're so funny...stamping on packing paper from eight years ago. You knew you'd find a use for it eventually.

  • last year

    Some people throw stuff away?

  • last year

    We also have an active Buy Nothing FB group as well as Yard Sale groups. Like most people, I reuse my decorations. Sometimes I rummage through my mother鈥檚 stuff. I dont really entertain but I would use the good china and I have Christmas serving plates and glasses.

    Strings of lights that dont work go to recycling at Mom鈥檚 Organic market.

    I use gift bags over and over each year, very little wrapping paper.

    Many people near me are quite wealthy and cojld afford to toss stuff after one use but i truly doubt that happens.

    Our township comes around and chips up the trees to use for mulch. The beach towns use them to protect the dunes in winter. Ive never had an artificial tree.

  • last year

    bpath, hahaha yes! And some can't part with anything, right?

    dedtired, I bet it's fun rummaging through your mom's stuff that holds many memories. I've been caught off guard by a flood of emotion or childhood memories when running across something tucked away at my parents' house.

    I love to wear something out, then really enjoy that thrill of something new - or new to me. Our fridge and one of our cars are 20 years old, the other car is only ten ;)

  • last year

    I鈥檓 rarely on the Design Dilemma forum. Was there a thread about throwing things awau after a party?

    bluemarble thanked bpath
  • last year

    Although I can't remember which thread I saw the comment on, I know the dilemma wasn't about throwing things away. There was side conversation where someone described knowing people who literally grab the corners of the tablecloth, gathering everything on it and heading for the trash can. Every year they buy new holiday decor and dishes. Not the paper kind. I found myself needing to beg people not to do that. I know we are all here because we enjoy talking about home improvement, but it seemed like a good place to also talk about ways to enjoy what we have a bit longer.

  • last year

    For several years, my sister and I have been re-using the same box, cards and tissue paper to send birthday and Christmas gifts to each other. I just sent her Christmas package off today and her gifts were wrapped in wrinkled, torn tissue paper. But, it's still usable! In her card, I wrote a note wondering how much longer we were going to be able to keep re-using the tissue and the box.


    I do believe there are a lot of wasteful people out there, but I believe there are many more who truly believe in the re-use, re-cycle, re-purpose philosophy.

    bluemarble thanked DawnInCal
  • last year

    Dawn, that's a great tradition for you and your sister. You added another level to your gift-giving. The most abundant material in a landfill is paper...the easiest thing to collect for recycling or find another use for IMO.

    There are certainly more people recycling now than ever, but the rate in the US is only around 32%. Hopefully, that means many more are re-using like you.

  • last year

    Until my FIL died at 93, he and my husband sent the same birthday card back and forth for about 30 years. We were 3000 miles apart so didn't see each other for birthdays. It said for instance, Happy 50th Birthday Dad. Whomever was sending it put a piece of masking tape over the age and wrote the recipient's current age. If my FIL was sending it, he would put a piece of masking tape over the word Dad and write my husbands name and vice versa. They never removed the previous piece of masking tape! The card is about 3/4 of an inch thick now. My husband cherishes it.

    bluemarble thanked nekotish
  • last year

    I love that, nekotish! That reminds me of the old, stained, worn out coozy my Dad used to keep his beer cold. He used that thing for years and when he died, I claimed it. It now sits on top of my fridge and looks as disreputable as ever, but it reminds me of my Dad every time I look at it.


    bluemarble, thank you for your kind remarks. One thing I forgot to mention is that when the box goes back and forth and one of us is opening gifts that are wrapped in worn out tissue, we'll see one of the patterns and think "oh yea, sister put that one in there on my 60th birthday" or "oh, this stripe pattern is from the year I sent sister the cotton pillow with the goat graphic for Christmas." That tissue paper has become full of memories for both of us. :)

    bluemarble thanked DawnInCal
  • last year

    nekotish, I was thinking while reading your comment that you must not be able to close the card with all that tape haha. What a special exchange for them both, and a treat for you knowing how much they were drawn to keeping the tradition alive.

    Dawn, I love the story even more after learning that each piece of tissue paper has it's own memory. Truly appreciate you sharing. I put a special gift in a small Santa bag for my husband each Christmas. Some day, it will be old and tattered and the kids will fight over it, right? Like your dad's coozy.

  • last year

    No I do not throw away decor. If I want to get rid of it it gets sent to one of the thrift stores.


    I also don't like to use plastic as every time I wash anything that is plastic I know that microplastics are being sloughed off and I start to feel very guilty. It seems like if the change doesn't happen across the board with just about everything we will be hurting everything and everyone.


    I recently heard a program that we even might need to give up milk and milk products to decrease the number of cows and methane. I adore cheese.. still I want us all to be okay. So maybe bye-bye cheese.

    bluemarble thanked yeonassky
  • PRO
    last year
    last modified: last year

    There's a round "object", roughly 36 inches north of your fanny. Simply put? Use it.

    You may busy yourself ironing colorful tissue paper and wraps, or ask yourself why you need it at all. Many sources for recyclabe wraps and tissue exist, gift bags can be used over and over. You can gift time, energy, talent, and even money minus any wrap at all. My dad gave mom the same birthday card, anniversary card for 54 married years. He was worried on the planet? No...he was afraid of a dash to the store if he forgot. He stored them in a manila envelope on his office wall!

    Maybe you should ask what effect you're having when you consider that the entire population of the USA fits into the 4.4 billion of India, China and Africa combined.......13.25 times.

    Maybe you should consider that while someone living in 15,000 square feet and flying a private jet lectures you about mass produced burgers topped with processed cheese, that the appeal for many in densely populated, poverty stricken urban areas is to fill a belly for under three bucks. Most of these folks remaining poor over generations via lack of education, single parenting ; fostered under left leaning policies (ie Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago ), in place and uninterrupted for decades.

    Maybe you should go right ahead and do your "part" and live in the manner that feels right to you, sans proselytizing.

    Better you should make a gift, buy a hand made local gift, and stay right out of the Big Discount junk emporiums filled to overflowing - courtesy of the countries making up half the population of earth and giving NOT ONE WHIT about the impact of manufactured garbage, it's destination for consumption, or you.

    Do I recycle/donate? You bet. Am I giving up steak, or the once every three years burger with cheese? No. Not in my lifetime.

    Am I saving crap that destroys looks, comfort in my own home, clutters my life, or causes me stress? No. Will some of it go without a blink in the trash? Yes.

    Do what makes you feel good, makes sense to you. Donate, repurpose, buy less, iron tissue, save string and Kleenex , or make puppets from dryer lint if you like!

    Some of us just use our heads, and realize that much of the Save The Planet agenda ...................has not one damn thing to do with saving it. It has a lot more to do with money and power, controlling you - as the proselytizers do exactly as they please and quite comfortably, thank you. Wake up.

    Let the firestorm ensue below.

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    I too have wondered how prevalent this throw way decor is. The idea of a new theme each year for a tree or home, new stockings etc. deeply insults the tradition and low footprint need in me. To each there own is the bottom line and not everyone finds the collected ornaments invoking memories of travel or life events their thing. There seems to be no way to beat the consumable society we have become!! All the cards we receive go in a box to become gift tags in the future. I purchase a tish of Christmas wrapping on rolls, but mostly we reuse gift bags each year. It's perfect when you don't even have to chage the tags because the one from last year will do!! Not about Christmas but I have been contemplating this: Our school lunch room recently went to glasses vs milk cartons. Many students are choosing (for an up charge) to buy small bottles of water. We have a filtered water fountain right there in the cafeteria empty cups waiting at the registers. It boggles my mind. PS the cows and methane...that's just SILLY! That's the sort of talk that makes conservationists look cuckoo for cocoa puffs!!

    bluemarble thanked arcy_gw
  • last year

    Yeonassky, i read that methane from cows can be reduced by changing what they eat.

    bluemarble thanked dedtired
  • last year

    It was not until I joined some food-type groups on FB that I even realized there are people who eat every meal on paper plates.... My DM is haunting them.

    bluemarble thanked Springroz
  • last year

    yeonassky, we could have a week's worth of conversation about plastics. Thank you for being conscientious. Bye-bye cheese haha. A little moderation by each of us can go a long way (and a lot by others would go even further).

    dedtired, so thankful for those who are figuring things out for the rest of us.

    Springroz, I grimaced at the thought of people eating all their meals on paper plates, then laughed out loud at your sardonic text. Feel free to share your DM with us. :)

    arcy, tell it! I continue to be floored by how well advertising works. I keep saying that we as a society get to decide what has value. As consumers, we can support a way of life that has a positive impact on the planet which in turn has a positive impact on us. Seems like common sense and not a new message...just a reminder that the concept of reducing, reusing and recycling is not a fad.

    Prevention is important. I'm not sure that children of all communities are taught the importance of the balance of nature and how our activities disrupt not only all of life, but the beauty of the planet. Over-consuming has the power to become an addiction, and at some point people throw their conscientiousness out the window. I understand the battle for some, like true hoarders.

  • last year

    Every meal on paper plates ... better than every meal on styrofoam plates :-(



    bluemarble thanked nickel_kg
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Regarding throwing away Christmas decor every year, I cannot understand it. My decorations have been purchased at various times going back decades. The one that blows me away the most is the concept of a different Christmas tree "theme" every year meaning all the ornaments and other items are trashed every year. My ornaments and other Christmas tree decorations all have many memories attached to them, often of relatives who are gone. I guess I'm just a sentimental old fool.

    Someone mentioned reusing clean but wrinkled tissue paper. Just so you know, tissue paper can be ironed to get the wrinkles out, believe it or not. My mom and aunts used to do that. Back in the day, department stores provided much better service and would pack items for customers with generous amounts of tissue paper. The very frugal women in my family would never have thought about buying tissue paper when the copious amounts provided by stores could be reused.

    bluemarble thanked wishiwereintheup
  • PRO
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Yes, we've all been trained since birth that retail sales and home building is what drives our economy. And stores are in business to get people to shop! The home design and construction industry is pretty notorious for promoting tear-downs and gut-remodels, with very little concern about where all the old stuff goes. We're all guilty of this and it really has to stop.

    This is why I'm a big proponent of investing in good quality materials and furniture so that it lasts for a good 10 to 15 years or longer. And if you buy quality furniture frames, they can be re-upholstered instead of thrown out. Be conscious of the materials you purchase. Buy tile and engineered stone that has recycled content and is made sustainably. If you must get rid of something, dismantle it in such a way that cabinets and old--but still working--appliances can be donated.

    As for seasonal decor, I completely agree that if you want your house decked out for the holidays, buy china you can re-use. Buy tablecloths that can be cleaned and re-used. Buy an artificial tree and ornaments that can be stored and re-used every year. Same with wreaths and garlands.

    In any event, contrary to what others have said, this isn't "virtue signaling". We all have to take responsibility for doing better for the planet in the choices we make.

    bluemarble thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • last year

    Our habits multipled over and over will make a difference (good and bad). We are trying in small ways.

    Christmas: Discontinued sending cards a few years ago as did everyone we know, use gift bags when possible that are recycled and save bows/ribbons and boxes. Turn off outdoor (LED) lights and Xmas tree lights by 8:00 or so, except at Xmas.

    Routinely: recycle 90% of our waste, use a Britta vs bottled water, turn down house temperature by a few degrees, eat less meat, store everything in reusable containers. Won鈥檛 order package meals in which you just have to cook, due to the amount of packaging used (I was shocked). Use water saving cycle on dishwasher and wash clothes in cold water. Cut watering grass by half. Walk or ride my bike vs driving when possible. Bring recycle bags for all our purchases, when feasible. Donate on a routine basis so as to recycle and also help others.

    bluemarble thanked Maureen
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    nickel, the lifespan of one styrofoam cup in a landfill is 500 years. Yes, please reach for paper if you only have that choice. Decomposition is more like six months.

    wishiwereintheup (me too!), that's what I'm concerned about! People are throwing away Christmas ornaments, etc. every year?! Why? Because someone else did it? Because Target suggested it? Because you're truly that bored? If people would just think for a few minutes about why that's not wise...

    Sabrina, thank you so much for your comments. As a professional in home interiors, you have influence over consumers. Your positive impact is noteworthy. The whole tear-down practice is kinda gross, frankly. Also, I had to look up "virtue signaling" after that lazy comment was made upthread. Thank you for countering it with a call for taking responsibility.

    Maureen, love to hear ALL the things you and your family are doing. As you're suggesting, once these things become routine, it's not all that hard! Like I said previously, the things we don't do also have an impact. I know this won't be a popular notion, but just being real...I don't wear make-up or nail polish, I shower every other day, I brush my teeth once a week (jk on that last one). Products from the beauty industry are very harmful to the environment.

    A little tidbit...every year, millions of pounds of Christmas lights are discarded. Apparently, they can be dropped off at home improvement stores for recycling, and turned into things like slipper soles.

  • last year

    @bluemarble don't get me started on Christmas lights. The current made-in-Asia-somewhere light strings are garbage for the most part. Although I haven't decorated extensively for the last few years (because I'm not home for Christmas), when I did so previously, light strings were often a one or two year disposable. Not that I threw them away after taking them down. They were stored the year but the following Christmas often did not work anymore. I also had a light/string tester. That's fine if it's one or two strings, but if many strings were out, I just didn't have the time. Later, the quality was even worse, where strings would go out while they were up. And it didn't seem to matter if the lights were outside or inside. (I segregated and stored inside and outside lights separately.)

    I know lights used to be better quality. When I was a kid, my parents had the large C7 colored strings but they did purchase for interior decoration (not on the tree) two sets of miniature lights, similar to what we use now, although incandescent. At the time, they were called "Italian lights", at least in the Chicago area, because the strings were manufactured in Italy. I still have those two strings, they both work and they are over half a century old.

    bluemarble thanked wishiwereintheup
  • last year

    wish, isn't it unfortunate that we are supposed to be understanding of how hard it must be for a company to stay in business if they produce things that will last, while turning a blind eye to all the faulty, disposable-by-design products that are trashing the earth? Out of sight, out of mind will be a thing of the past at this rate. Pretty awesome your Italian lights are still working, and probably look adorable on your tree. I haven't had a hard time with lights through the years. I've only used three or four strands on a 7-foot tree in the past, and now have one or two strands each on two tabletop trees. We only light them in the evenings for about two weeks.

  • PRO
    last year

    I am shocked at the waste in todays society. Even seeing comments on here about telling people to rip out perfectly good backsplash tile or countertops because they don't seem quite right or cabinets that are in great shape because it looks "dated" . I have had the same kitchen ,counters and luckily appliances for the last 20 years . It suits the house so it doesn't feel old or out of place. There are so many places to donate your things or even give them away to neighbors so they can have a second life.

    I laughed at someone who posted about washing zip loc bags! I thought I was in the minority on doing that! LOL

    Unless something is irreparably broken - I never throw it out.

    bluemarble thanked Debbi Washburn
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Debbi, I hear ya. When we bought our house, the kitchen was already 20 years old. It took us another 14 years to update which was about five years overdue...broken drawer fronts, crumbling particleboard, buckling laminate countertop, chipped enamel sink, corroded faucet. It seemed to become a glaring eyesore all at once while trying to raise young children! I have wondered if I made the right or wrong choices in kitchen and flooring upgrades, but figure it might not matter if new owners are going to rip it all out anyway. When we sold our last house, I asked the realtor to put strong wording in the contract for the new owner to keep the old, huge maple tree in the back yard (I don't remember if she actually did, but after 25 years, it's still standing). Maybe we could do that with other fixed elements of a house. Thou shalt not tear out flooring or kitchen cabinets for at least X number of years after purchase : )

    Good luck selling the house, right?

  • last year

    Debbi Washburn, I agree with your entire first paragraph. (I detest the word dated and wish I never had to see or hear it again !)

    My DDIL and her family are "throwaway " people, but even they would draw the line at tossing a real tablecloth, dishes, etc. As for myself, I'm the one who keeps and reuses gift bags and tissue, and I'm appalled by what some people consider trash.

    When I was growing up in the 1950's and 60's, our family didn't produce much trash and neither did others in our area. There wasn't much plastic and nearly everything was reusable, so we weren't doing much damage to the environment. I'm blown away by what people consider to be disposable now.

    bluemarble thanked woodrose
  • last year

    woodrose, I like to think that someone who sets a perfectly good piece of furniture at the curb knows from experience that someone who needs it will come along and take it; otherwise, it's sort of like gloating. As to the last century, there was a good amount of reusing and repurposing. There was also much concern regarding the health of the environment which is why the EPA was formed in 1970...problems with polluted drinking water, streams, air, oils spills, etc. Unfortunately, the plastics industry has been able to dupe us all into thinking it could all be safely reused and easily recycled.

  • last year

    terezosa, that is the most romantic thing I've heard in a long time xoxo

  • last year

    I do believe there are a lot of wasteful people out there, but I believe there are many more who truly believe in the re-use, re-cycle, re-purpose philosophy.


    If that were true, a greater number of and more stringent environmental laws would be on the books, no one would be singing the praises and using microfiber cloths or wearing clothes with polyester, companies would be moving away from plastic packaging due to consumer demand, and stores would not be selling everything wrapped in pastic.


    It is a lovely thought, but just not true.

  • last year

    cyn, it's unfortunate how the pendulum of environmental protections swings drastically when state and federal administrations change. It's hard to tackle anything with consistency, and often times public opinion is ignored

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    I was the one who made the comment about the people picking up the four corners of the tablecloth with all the dinnerware and such and tossing it all out.

    I never said it was real dishes, but it was plastic dishes and holiday serveware which 1) is plastic and meant be be reusable and 2) they were not recycling it because it was all covered with food. And it was cheap but real tablecloth. It was all cheap stuff from a party store or the dollar store but all stuff that technically could be reused at least a couple times, or recycled if rinsed off properly. I hardly think it matters how much the original stuff cost though, either. They are still buying stuff that is either single use, which is wasteful, or things that could be used a couple of times at least. Which is still wasteful.

    There are also people who discard their real christmas trees without taking the lights off, because lights are so cheap.

    I have seen this more than once, I am not sure why anybody would think I was making this up to "virtue signal" . Besides that, I think the worst sort of virtue signaling is to accuse someone of doing it because that means you think you are even more virtuous than the person who you think is pretending to be, is.


    This 10" serving bowl costs $4.50 at Party City Do you really think the person who buys something like this is going to "Hand Wash Only" it?




    bluemarble thanked palimpsest
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    palimpsest, thank you for finding us, and for correcting me! I probably should not be relieved, but I am a little bit. Were they like the SOLO plastic or a melamine? I don't think the SOLO stuff is recyclable. My apologies to everyone for misunderstanding, but still very thankful for this discussion.

    The thought of throwing away a Christmas tree with all the lights and/or ornaments still on it would never cross my mind. If you don't enjoy the holiday, are just going through the motions and are glad it's over, why bother? Do your own thing that doesn't impact the earth in such a way.

    As to virtue signaling, I would have come to your defense if I hadn't thought the comment was aimed at me.

  • last year

    Your graphic just showed up for me. Is that the sort of thing they threw away? Not cool

  • last year

    Our neighbors put their tree on the curb for the city to pick up (to mulch) with all the lights still on. Drives me crazy.

    bluemarble thanked blueskysunnyday
  • last year

    RE artificial Christmas trees - I see many of those on the curb every year, because they start to shed their "needles" after a few years, long before they look shabby, or because the owners wanted to "upgrade". They can't be recycled - the scrappers won't take the ones with metal parts even. So they go to the landfill, to continue the march toward more farmland being converted to trash disposal.

    Whereas a live tree has come from a farm, (not overseas), will be replaced with another tree, and while growing is providing all of the benefits of trees in the landscape. In fact a tree farm is creating a "woods" where otherwise would be crops like corn or soybeans. Then the tree can be turned into mulch, composted, or simply broken up with loppers and piled in a corner of the yard to provide shelter for various wildlife. (I realize that many towns/cities still don't yet offer pickup and processing of Christmas trees, or other yard waste, but if citizens keep asking for that, it will come).

    On my walks around the neighborhood on trash day I often see things like sets of dishes, intact glassware, and other usable good condition household items of all sorts, including bedframes, outgrown clothes & toys, linens - from decluttering and downsizing I assume for the most part - set out for the trash pickup. We have 3 or 4 thrift stores within 2-3 miles, and a store (furniture bank) that takes furniture donations another 2 or so miles further. So the mindset is there, if not to the extreme of trashing rather than dealingwith an entire special occasion kit.

    bluemarble thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • last year

    bluesky, I bet the trash collector loves that. We also have neighbors that can't figure out how trash & recycling day work. On a windy day, their trash becomes our trash.

    raee, it seems there are a couple of ways to approach Christmas tree selection. If you want an artificial tree, try to get ten years of use out of it. If you want a real tree, compost or chipping is best. Some people are able to buy a live tree to plant in their yard after the holidays. Ugh...what is up with people throwing away usable items? I felt so good donating all kinds of things to the furniture bank a couple of times, and they came and picked it all up!

  • last year

    Hubby and I are big recyclers: glass, paper, cardboard, bottles, tin cans, etc. When we had our kitchen and bathrooms renovated, we donated all the cabinets and light fixtures to Habitat For Humanity. We also donate clothing to Salvation Army. My last faux Christmas tree was 25 years old. I purchased a new Balson Hill faux Chistmas tree this Spring at 60% discount; and it is so well made it should last at least 25 years. I use the same Chistmas ornaments on my tree every year. I have beautiful faux garland that I put on my staircase every Christmas season and will use it for years to come. I reuse snowflake window clings every winter. We are also careful to use all the food we purchase, we rarely have to throw out any food. We dont send any holiday cards, we send friends and family electronic phone messages to acknowledge all the holidays. We use the mulcher on our mower so grass clippings get recycled back into our lawn. Hubby maintains / services our cars, lawn mower, snow blower, and house generator so they last for years. We keep our cars for at least 10 years. I liked everyones comments on this important topic. Happy recycling!!

    bluemarble thanked kculbers
  • last year

    kculbers, thank you for posting your holiday photos! Great discount on your tree, and the garland looks real from here :)

    I appreciate the topic of food waste. That is something my husband and I have struggled with as we adjust to being empty nesters. My daughter asked for beeswax food wraps for Christmas. I'll be interested to see what she thinks after using them for a while. Here's a link in case anyone wants to know more... goldilocksgoods.com


Sponsored
Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes
Average rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars256 Reviews
Northern Virginia Design Build Firm | 18x Best of Houzz