Holiday Waste and the 3 R’s
educe the waste you create
euse items to make great gifts and more
ecycle the inevitable waste that comes with the holidays
Great ways you can REDUCE holiday waste
The Pre-Holiday Shopping
- Combine shopping trips to save gas, carpool with a friend needing to go to the same types of shops
- Shop close to home to save gas
- Take your own reusable shopping bags
- Consider the durability of your gift purchase
- Don’t forget the batteries! send rechargeable batteries along with those gifts that need batteries, consider also, the gift of a battery charger.
- If you are replacing strings of lights, consider LED lights to save energy
- Turn off or unplug your lights during the day and when you go to bed (or use a timer)
- Purchase a potted three that can be planted after the holidays
- If you send holiday cards, look for ones made of recycled paper. Avoid cards with glossy, shiny or gold foil coatings since these cannot be recycled. Or, send ”electronic cards” or make a phone call instead!
- You are probably receiving piles of mail order catalogs at this time of year. Call the company’s 800 number and ask that you be removed from their mailing list.
- Hosting the family party? Skip the disposable plates, cups, and cutlery and opt for reusable instead
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper
REUSE items to make fabulous, heartfelt gifts
Greeting Card Makeovers
- Save the cards that you get in the mail, cut off the front pictures, and reuse as “postcards” next year. This saves on postage too.
- Put this year’s Christmas cards away to cut up and use as gift tags for next year’s gifts.
- Used Christmas cards, especially those with large pictures to cut out, can be used as tree decorations. Just put a hole at the top of the card and knot a piece of string or lace through the hole to hang on next year’s Christmas tree, door handles, etc.
- Donate your
- Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or funny papers. Also remember to save or recycle used wrapping paper.
- Set a box aside to collect the reusable ribbons, bows, and other package decorations – keep for next year!
- Most gifts boxes can be flattened and reused throughout the year for other items.
- Save used gift wrapping paper and gift bags and reuse them next year.
- Drop off extra packing peanuts at local private mailing centers.
- Give home-baked goodies in reusable containers like baskets, tins, or jars.
Cleaning up – Recycle what you can and properly dispose of the rest
Check these links out for more great information!
- Simplify the Holidays – New American Dream
- No Waste Holiday Ideas – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- No Waste Holiday – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- Turn Trash Into Treasures: Low Cost Ideas for Holiday Gifts
- Holiday Waste Reduction Tips – California Integrated Waste Management Board
- Holiday Waste Reduction Tips from the Recycle Guys – North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance
- Recycled Christmas Tree – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- 42 Ways to Trim Your Holiday Waste
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