According to Robert Lilienfeld of the ULS Report, Americans dispose of 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s over any other time of the year. Make some slight holiday modifications to help ease the effects of the holidays on our planet.

Holiday Cards. Send e-cards versus traditional paper cards. If you are absolutely set on paper cards, buy cards that are made from recycled card stock.

Conscious Presents. Put thought into what family or friends really want or need. Try to avoid giving a gift will result in more clutter¬† or waste. Instead, send in a donation to a friend or family member’s favorite charity or use to give a unique gift of clean water, a fishing kit, or goat to a family in a developing country.

Gift Wrap. Recycled gift bags, magazine pages with holiday themes or the comic pages from the newspaper are all good ways to be eco-conscious when wrapping a gift. Top the gift off with raffia or a cloth ribbon that can also be reused by the receiver.

Holiday Wreaths & Trees. Call your local recycling center to get a list of free tree and wreath drop-off locations. These centers will usually shred your holiday greens for use as mulch. Tree mulch can then be used as an erosion barrier for lake and river shoreline management or as soft bedding for parks and playgrounds.