10 Gift Ideas for Mother Earth

Don’t forget the planet when making your list this year!

Did you know, San Francisco produces 17% more trash during the holidays? Help bring that number down by considering 10 simple actions – gifts for the planet if you will – to lessen amount of unnecessary trash we send to landfill during this season of celebration:

  1. Break down cardboard boxes from online shopping to save space in your bin for recycling.
  2. Use fabric or reusable gift bags for wrapping presents. Avoid metallic wrapping paper – it is not recyclable.
  3. Plastic bags pollute oceans and harm fish, seabirds, turtles, and whales. Whenever possible, decline plastic bags when buying items for holiday meals and gifts.
  4. Avoid purchasing foods and products shrink-wrapped in film plastic. Like plastic bags, plastic wrap is made of film or flimsy plastic, for which there are few opportunities for recovery.
  5. Choose glass containers over plastic when buying condiments like mayo and mustard for turkey sandwiches. Glass bottles and jars get recycled in the Bay Area. Plastic is more difficult to recycle and must be transported great distances.
  6. Compost all vegetable peelings from holiday meal prep. Composting benefits the environment in multiple and significant ways. See related article “10 Reasons to Compost”.
  7. The holidays are the biggest food weeks of the year. After enjoying holiday meals, remember to put all plate scrapings in the green bin so they can become the nutrient-rich compost that farmers use to improve soil health.
  8. Paper and cardboard constitute 80% of the material in San Francisco recycling bins.  Empty all bottles and cans from holiday gatherings to prevent liquids from spoiling paper in recycling bins.
  9. Shake out food containers to keep food and oils out of your blue bin. Similar to emptying liquids from bottles, shaking out food containers helps San Francisco protect the quality of recycled paper.
  10. Globally we consume 1 million plastic bags a minute, including zip-top plastic bags. Switch to reusable containers for storing holiday leftovers.
Learn more about our Better at the Bin campaign here!