There are several things that we can do to reduce and reuse holiday waste with some thoughtful planning and creative thinking.
Christmas Decorations and Cards
- Christmas cards
Do not throw away used cards this year. You can donate them to some schools, child care centers, nursing homes, and charities. Because much of that is local, you may need to check online to see where you can send them. The child care centers and nursing homes use them for other crafts. Just cut out any personal messages and donate them.
You can also opt to send your holiday greetings through email (e-cards) which are at no-cost, and zero waste. Plus, you can access them anytime you want without taking up space in your home. There are a few online sites that offer holiday cards, one of the favorite ones is Jacquie Lawson’s which has a fee to join but then you get cards that have special effects.
- Holiday decorations
When it comes to lights, sometimes they get old, or maybe they are missing bulbs, but rather than throwing them out, you can recycle them! That’s right; even your old LED Christmas lights are acceptable for recycling. Often with a trade-in in exchange perk for more efficient lights.
If you have other decorations, you can donate them to charities or a thrift store if they are still in excellent condition. They will also accept artificial Christmas Trees as long as they are in good condition and not missing any branches.
- Natural Christmas trees
If you have a natural Christmas tree, many communities have curbside pickups where they are picked up and turned into mulch. There are other recycling options available for you to choose from if a curbside pickup isn’t available. Some creative ways to reuse your trees are soil erosion barriers, mulching programs, and bird feeders.
Green Gift Shopping and Giving
- Earth-friendly gifts
Think of giving presents made out of recycled material to cut its impact on the environment. Be as creative and as thoughtful you can be! Consider making your gifts from pine cones, tree bark or even things like a plastic milk carton - which you can turn into a bird feeder. For recycling as craft ideas, check out Pinterest, some are just for kids!
- Reusable shopping bags
Utilizing reusable bags should be done all throughout the year, most especially during Christmas season to reduce the number of plastics thrown away. Just remember to wash those reusable bags because they can get very dirty.
- Handmade/Personalized Christmas gifts
Explore your artistic and creative side Holiday gifts. Homemade gifts are always meaningful to give. Home-baked goods like cookies, cakes or even home-brewed wines are special and always appreciated. Homemade gifts are always meaningful to give. Consider things you can sew, knit or crochet. If you paint, pictures are great, if it is a sculpture, or a piece of pottery, or a scented candle let the artist in you shine!. If you love working with wood, then you can make something simple like a stool embellished with their name, or as elaborate as a custom-made doll house. It’s the effort and thought that counts!
- Gift certificates
If you're clueless as to what to give for the holidays, you can always go for the gift certificates and let them buy what they want or need. It saves you more time in shopping, effort in thinking and waste to dispose!
Christmas Packaging and Wrapping
- Wrapping accessories
Everyone likes a pretty wrapped present, but did you know you can recycle those boxes? In fact, you can take a plain box and wrap the top and the bottom separately so that the box can be reused again and again. Since you pick out the paper, it may be a one of a kind box!.
When possible, save those pretty bows and you can reuse them on other presents. Gift bags can also be saved to use again.
- Gift wrapping paper
Buy recycled wrapping paper whenever possible. Consider saving the paper from your gifts when they are unwrapped and then use that for your children’s art projects. All the paper can be cut and used for children’s crafts when it is needed. If you don’t have any children, donate your local school’s art room.
- Gift tags
Tags don’t have to be expensive. You can reuse old Christmas cards, cutting out the design on the front and using the back to write who to and who from for gifts.
‘Tis the season where we throw away more waste than any other time of the year. It’s essential to reduce your Christmas clutter as well as keeping your home clean. You can contact a professional cleaning service to help you out with that.
It’s never impossible to be both festive and eco-friendly at the same time, especially during the holidays! Just follow these ideas and have a neat & Merry Christmas ahead of you!