8 THINGS you should do after the holidays!

Finally… we’ve stopping scurrying around in preparation for the holidays, but now we’re all liking looking around and seeing plenty yet to be done in the wake of a hectic season.

The tree, the lights, the presents, the boxes, the bags and bows, the piles of Christmas cards!… WHAT to do now? Well, let me help…

Here is a very simple list of things you can do to curb the waste, make the most of the season and keep it green!:

  • The Christmas tree – if you had a live-cut Christmas tree, check out Earth911 to find a drop-off so it can be turned into mulch or composted (if your community doesn’t offer the service).  If you have a wooded area near your house, give it back to nature for a wonderful winter habitat for animals.  If your tree is artificial and you’ve considered a replacement, donate your old tree.  Many organizations and needy families would love them for next year.
  • Packaging and boxes – everything from gift packaging to the shipping boxes the gifts arrived in… either recycle them (if they aren’t usable again) or save them (along with the reusable packing materials) for when you need to ship something.  If you have more than you can handle, list and sell them through Box Cycle.
  • Gift bags, ribbons, bows and tissue – simply fold, flatten and store them.  They can all likely be used again (and again!).
  • Lights – if you have strands that have permanently gone out, take advantage of clearance sales and stock up on new LEDs for next year’s energy-efficient decorating.  You can also check out HolidayLEDs.com… they’ll accept old incandescents and give you a 25% discount on a new LED purchase.
  • Clear it out! – make way for new gifts by cleaning out what is no longer needed and donate them to charity.  Clothes, toys, books, household items… everything is useful for someone, or an entire family, in need!
  • E-cycle electronics – if you got something new, take your old electronics to your local Best Buy so they can be properly e-cycled, repaired or repurposed (or donate them, if they still work!).
  • Christmas cards – save them and cut them up to become gift tags for next year.
  • Christmas cards alternative – ever heard of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children?  Well, they’d love to receive your Christmas cards!  This non-profit organization cares for abused, abandoned and/or neglected children.  They accept used greeting cards (including Christmas, birthday and even “Thank You” cards), the children remove the fronts and attach them to a recycled paper backing.  They turn them into new greeting cards… and then sell them!  Bundle them up and mail them to:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

As you get your post-holiday life back in order there is some work to be done but, rest assured, there are plenty of wise, green choices that can be made as we bid the year farewell…

(Tree photo: Christmas Lights Etc.)

 

 

The Post-Holiday Green Guide…

christmas storageNow that we’ve stopping scurrying around in preparation for the holidays, we’re all liking looking around and seeing plenty yet to be done in the wake of a hectic season.

The tree, the lights, the presents, the boxes, the bags and bows, the piles of Christmas cards!… WHAT to do now? Well, let me help…

Here is a very simple list of things you can do to curb the waste, make the most of the season and keep it green!:

  • The Christmas tree – if you had a live-cut Christmas tree, check out Earth911 to find a drop-off so it can be turned into mulch or composted (if your community doesn’t offer the service).  If you have a wooded area near your house, give it back to nature for a wonderful winter habitat for animals.  If your tree is artificial and you’ve considered a replacement, donate your old tree.  Many organizations and needy families would love them for next year.christmas tree artificial 3
  • Packaging and boxes – everything from gift packaging to the shipping boxes the gifts arrived in… either recycle them (if they aren’t usable again) or save them (along with the reusable packing materials) for when you need to ship something.  If you have more than you can handle, list and sell them through Box Cycle.
  • Gift bags, ribbons, bows and tissue – simply fold, flatten and/or store.  They can all likely be used again (and again!).
  • Lights – if you have strands that have permanently gone out, take advantage of clearance sales and stock up on new LEDs for next year’s energy-efficient decorating.  You can also check out HolidayLEDs.com… they’ll accept old incandescents and give you a 25% discount on a new LED purchase.
  • Clear it out! – make way for new gifts by cleaning out what is no longer needed and donate them to charity.  Clothes, toys, books, household items… everything is useful for someone, or an entire family, in need!
  • Christmas cards – ever heard of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children?  Well, they’d love to receive your Christmas cards!  This non-profit organization cares for abused, abandoned and/or neglected children.  They accept used greeting cards (including Christmas, birthday and even “Thank You” cards), the children remove the fronts and attacchristmas cardsh them to a recycled paper backing.  They turn them into new greeting cards… and then sell them!  Bundle them up and mail them to:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

As you get your post-holiday life back in order there is some work to be done but, rest assured, there are plenty of wise, green choices that can be made as we bid the year farewell…

(Tree photo: Christmas Lights Etc.)

Where, O where, should the Christmas remnants go?

xmas strgeThe post-holiday wrap-up is being wrapped up! So sad to see it all come to an end, but alas… it’s back to the less dreamy and festive real world!

Hopefully we’ve all made wise choices about bidding a fond farewell to everything that’s come our way throughout the season and even thought ahead to preparing for next year (… yes, next year!).

Make sure all of these activities made your “to do” list, including:

  • Recycling your cut Christmas tree.  Check out Earth911 to make sure it gets recycled into mulch or composted, or if you have woods or a ravine near your house, add the tree back to nature and animals will surely turn it into a wonderful winter habitat.christmas tree_live closeup
  • Recycling materials from gift packaging, boxes from shipments and everything that gets a thumbs-up from your recycling can. If you have a lot of boxes, list them with BoxCycle or save them, along with any reusable packing materials, for when you need to ship something.
  • Folding and storing all gift bags to be put back into circulation next year. Even ribbons, bows and tissue paper can get more than a single use.
  • Taking advantage of those clearance sales and purchase LED lighting for next season’s energy-efficient decorating. Check out HolidayLEDs.com… they’ll accept your old incandescent lights and give you a 15% discount on a new LED purchase (now, until February 28, 2010)!
  • Making way for new gifts… but simultaneously continue to gather items around home (clothes, toys, books, household items) that will now be cast aside and donate them to charity for the ultimate in reuse.
  • Recycling all of the Christmas cards you received with St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.  (This non-profit organization cares for abused, abandoned and/or neglected children.)  They accept used greeting cards and the children remove the fronts, attach them to a recycled paper back, and turn them into new greeting cards… and then sell them! This is a great option to traditional paper recycling and a great cause to support.  Your cards will christmas cardsbe accepted until February 28, 2010.  Just bundle them up and mail them off to:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

I’m certainly anxious to get my life back in order after some fantastically crazy holiday madness… and if you love to organize and clean, I’ll send you my address.  Be here in an hour.  I’ll leave on the lights and one massive pot of (organic) coffee!

It’s time to mail more Christmas cards… for recycling!

The twelve days of Christmas are over.  I am slowly (and oh, I do mean slowly!) making sense of all the remnants of the holidays and starting to put everything away.

So, the gift bags are folded and flattened.  The trees are coming down.  The stockings are being “un-hung”. The wreaths and candles are being packed away.  And a big stack of cards is mocking me… again.

I’ve never been good at getting rid of the cards.  It seems so cold to toss out the “wishes” others send to us, so I’ve stockpiled quite a mass of them from years (and years) gone by.  I’ve used them by cutting out bits and pieces of the art and turning them into gift tags but, seriously, I will never give enough gifts to use them all!  I’ve even thought about using the fronts as postcards (maybe a good idea for a ‘thank you’ postcard) or turning a strip from the front into bookmarks for next year’s gifts.

And although most cards are recyclable, I’ve discovered a great way to recycle Christmas cards that doesn’t include dumping them in a recycling can… St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.  SJRC is a non-profit organization that cares for abused, abandoned and/or neglected children.  They accept used greeting cards and the children remove the fronts, attach them to a recycled paper back, and turn them into new greeting cards… and then sell them!

I think this is an amazing option to traditional paper recycling and a great cause to support.  Your cards will be accepted until February 28, 2009.  Just bundle them up and mail them off to:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Learn more about the program, and even how you can buy the “new” recycled cards!

Now, if I could just find a place to mail my entire HOUSE for a thorough, post-holiday overhaul, I would be one happy mama!