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Yuletide Guide to Using Less Stuff


One of every 11 dollars you spend on gifts goes to packaging. Approximately 373 million greeting cards, 35 million cut trees, 29 million rolls of wrapping paper and 17 million bows will be purchased this holiday season. Please trim your holiday trash. You’ll save our landfills and money, too!

  • Don’t box it. Package your gifts in baskets, tins, bags or containers that can be reused.
  • For holiday parties, choose reusable plates, cups, linens and utensils.
  • Choose gifts such as a battery charger, coffee makers with reusable filters, refillable writing pens and reusable razors.
  • Avoid gifts that are obviously over-packaged.


  • If each family reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon each year, 38,000 miles worth would be saved. That’s enough to tie a bow around the entire planet!
  • Compost your leftover fruits, vegetables and peels.
  • Wrap gifts in old maps, newspapers, Sunday comics or kids’ artwork.
  • Cut off the front of cards you receive and reuse them as postcards or ornaments.
  • Make your own wreaths with dried flowers, pine cones and other similar items which you’ve saved or collected.
  • If every American throws away just one bite of turkey with gravy, 8 million pounds of food is wasted.
  • Keep your first portions small. If you’re still hungry, ask for seconds.

Did you know…? Each year the average family throws away enough stuff to fill up their entire house? And that even with recycling, each American still sends 1,150 pounds of trash to the landfill? Please be thoughtful this holiday season and remember to “Use Less Stuff”!


Consider buying a live tree this year or use an artificial tree. This will save landfill space and disposal costs of our city. In addition, you and your family will benefit, because…

  • Trees help conserve energy. Three well-sited trees around your home can reduce air conditioning costs by 10-50%, and windbreaks can cut heating costs.
  • Trees cool urban “heat islands.” Shading expanses of pavement lowers temperatures and reduces energy use.
  • Tree filter air pollution, prevent soil erosion, reduce noise pollution and provide homes for wildlife.
  • Urban trees create shade and reduce cooling demands, making them 15 times more effective than rural trees in reduction of carbon dioxide buildup.
  • One tree absorbs carbon dioxide at the rate of 13-26 pounds per year, or about 5 tons per acre per year.

If you choose to buy a cut tree:

  • Be aware that it is no longer permissible to discard your tree in the city parks. (Doing so could result in a fine of up to $500.)
  • Our city will process the trees into mulch for flower beds in city parks. You can drop off your Christmas tree at one of the following locations (watch the KMB home page for dates each year):
    • Citizen's Collection Station by Claydesta Post Office off Airpark BLVD
    • Hogan Park, Field #7, behind the Armory on Lamesa Road

How will this benefit you?

  • Recycling Christmas trees will save 400 cubic yards of valuable landfill space.
  • Recycling Christmas trees will save the City of Midland 900 hours of labor, over 800 gallons of gasoline and keep safety hazards from neighborhood parks.


Tags: Reduce