Christmas Tree Reuse and Recycling
- If you use a cut tree, make sure you recycle it.
- Buy a live tree and replant it in your yard.
- Send an e-card.
- Reuse the cards. Cut up and use your holiday greeting cards as gift tags next year.
- Save cards with pictures for photo albums you buy or make.
- Buy in bulk. Buy your holiday cooking items in bulk and use the extra throughout the season. This eliminates extra trips to the grocery store and reduces excess packaging.
- Consider not buying single-use items for the big holiday meal. Make it special. Use the real stuff including cloth napkins, drinking glasses and silverware instead of disposable paper and plastic products.
- Just say "no" to paper and plastic bags. Bring your own reusable shopping bag. If you do use a plastic or paper bag, reuse it. Recycle plastic bags at local grocers. Paper bags can be placed in your blue curbside recycling cart.
- Make recycling easy for guests. Place an in-house recycling basket next to the trash container.
- Ask your invited guests to bring reusable containers. They can take home the leftovers in them.
- Need extra tables, chairs or even another grill? Consider borrowing or renting the items that you will only use occasionally. That may save you money.
- Compost your food waste. Fruits and vegetables are perfect ingredients.
Shop for Gifts that Reduce Waste
- Keep it simple. One thoughtful gift is better than six wrapped packaged of unwanted gifts.
- Give gift certificates for restaurants, gym memberships, car washes, spas, magazine subscriptions and so much more.
- Give tickets for movies, concerts, museums or sporting events.
- Give the gift of your time by offering to clean someone's house, watch their children, help with their pet, or run their errands.
- Give homemade items. Who doesn't like homemade cookies and other goodies? Give your homemade goodies in a tin, jar or basket that can be reused. Give handmade crafts or framed photographs.
- Avoid gag gifts. They often quickly become trash.
- Shop for products that are not over-packaged, are made from recycled content or can be recycled.
- Give gifts that keep on giving. Consider a battery charger, a plant, or a reusable coffee mug or water bottle.
- Buy rechargeable batteries. It's the perfect time - when you buy new electronics.
Let's Wrap it Up (or not)
- Don't wrap at all. Tickets, gift certificates and house plants are good to give unwrapped.
- Tie a ribbon. When giving oversized gifts, like a bicycle, don't wrap them. Just tie a bow around them.
- Make the wrap part of the gift. Give your homemade cookies in a reusable tin. Kitchen gifts can be wrapped in a colorful dish towel. Tools for a gardener can be placed in a flowerpot or planter.
- Reuse. If you have to wrap, wrap gifts in old maps, blue prints, and newspapers of the Sunday comics. Wrap a sports gift with the newspaper's Sports section.
- Reuse wrapping paper and ribbons when possible. Choose gift bags and boxes, and reuse for next year.
- Save your cardboard boxes, packing peanuts and bubble wrap. Use them again, or give them to someone or a shipping business.