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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, such as these from Sanna Serspinski of International Student and Scholar Services:

Sanna Serspinski“At my house we try to follow my Nordic culture and be less wasteful. Fabric from old clothes becomes material for the kids’ art projects. Old shelving and storage furniture becomes storage for the garage or basement. We all like our sweaters so we also try to keep the house temperature cool, wear our woolens, and sip hot cider or cocoa.”