Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Aftermath

The holidays will be over soon and we'll be left with the aftermath of the gift-opening frenzy.  What to do with all the waste?  Here are a few ideas on how to get rid of it all in the most environmental way possible.

Keep all of your gift bags, bows, ribbons, clothing boxes, and any decorative packaging that you can reuse next year.  I keep all of mine in a special holiday gift wrapping bin that I just store away with the rest of the Christmas decor.  I also keep a pair of scissors, tape, and gift tags in there so it's all ready to go for next year.

Please recycle your gift wrap unless it's foil paper or has anything in it that's not made of paper.  Also recyclable are tissue paper, cardboard boxes, or paperboard packaging (read: Barbie boxes, Bakugan boxes, and almost every other toy packaging). 

Christmas trees:
Take off all lights, ornaments, tinsel, garland, and any other decor on the tree before putting it on the curb.  Trees are usually taken curbside for two weeks after Christmas.  Google: "Recycling Christmas trees" + your county name and it should give you information on how to recycle in your area.  

If there's anything else you'd like to get rid of, please don't put it in the landfill.  Freecycle it instead or donate it to a local shelter or church.  Or wait til next year and sell it in a yard sale.  Remember, someone's trash is someone else's treasure.  

For more ideas, here's a great article on Earth911 about how to recycle Christmas decor, gift wrap, and other holiday leftovers: Holiday Recycling

Hope these tips will help you enjoy your holiday without creating too much waste in the process.  Have a great holiday and an even better new year!  

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