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KNOXVILLE — Fretting that the tree may be the only part of the holiday season that is green?

Experts say household waste often increases more than 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That means the holidays can have a negative impact on the environment.

However, there are ways to make the holidays more environmentally friendly.

“Small changes to our routines can help make the holiday season more fun and less wasteful,” said Gordie Bennett, UT Knoxville’s sustainability manager.

An informal poll of UT Knoxville faculty and staff members found some unique and easy tips for “greening” the holidays this season. Here is the first idea of several holiday tips we will publish over the next few weeks:

“Instead of buying decor, I primarily use clippings from my yard. Leaves and branches can make the most beautiful, natural decor—and you get the pruning done in the process!” – Elizabeth Avery, professor, College of Communication & Information