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.)