Less Trash, More Good Cheer

By Karen Hallisey

The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most wasteful. Food consumption, decorating, and wrapping gifts add up in the bin. Especially during the holiday season, sustainability should be a priority.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, Americans throw away 25% more trash than the rest of the year, according to statistics from Stanford University. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage or about 1 million extra tons per week!

Thankfully the simple solution is some straightforward actions Bruins can take to produce less trash over the next few months. On campus it is all about reducing, reusing, and sorting to help UCLA divert waste from the landfill.

Reduce: Use what you already have and only what you need. Think before you buy. 

Reuse: Use something again or more than once and buy secondhand, at the UCLA Surplus Shop or thrift retail stores, like the UCLA Thrift Shop.

Sort: Use the centralized waste bins on campus.

The UCLA Sustainability Plan released earlier in the year covers waste minimization efforts on campus. These include sourcing responsibly manufactured products, consuming consciously, reusing wherever possible, and recovering the value from products, packaging, and materials without sending them to landfill.

Bruins can easily adopt more sustainable habits to reduce and eliminate waste while on campus. These steps can be as simple as purchasing unpackaged produce, choosing a reusable bottle over a plastic one, buying secondhand and giving items multiple lives, and utilizing the centralized waste bins at UCLA.

Go into December and approach the rest of the season with sustainability in mind. Handling waste responsibly will reduce your personal environmental impact and protect our planet.
Bring good cheer — not heaping bags of garbage!

Learn more about UCLA’s waste diversion efforts and zero waste goal at www.sustain.ucla.edu/zero-waste.