According to the Environmental Protection Agency, with all of the wrapping paper, decorations, and food, Americans generate 25% more waste than usual during the holiday season. Unfortunately, most of this waste will be thrown out and end up in landfills. However, there are a few easy ways to recycle or reuse after-holiday waste.
If you ordered presents online and have leftover bubble wrap or packing peanuts, don’t just throw them out. While they can’t be recycled, they can be reused in the future. Additionally, you can check with local shipping companies to see if they’ll take them from you.
When it comes to wrapping paper, as long as it doesn’t have foil or glitter on it then it can be recycled. Additionally, you should try to save as much wrapping paper as you can. Not only will this reduce your waste, but will save you from having to spend money on wrapping paper in the future. And don’t forget about the bows – save those for future presents!
If you’re trying to figure out what to do with food-related items like packaging or containers, recycling should be your top priority. Since many people choose to throw out plastic containers instead of recycling them, there is currently an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in the world’s oceans.
Fortunately, you can help reduce this waste by recycling or reusing leftover food containers and bags. You should ensure any food or beverage containers you are recycling are empty, clean, and dry. Additionally, glass bottles should be recycled. Because glass takes a very long time to break down naturally, there are many recycling programs to take care of the recycled glass.
Instead of throwing out ornaments, decorations, or even unwanted gifts, you should consider donating them. Not only do you get rid of your unwanted items, but they can find a new home with someone who does want them. Furthermore, it’s important to recycle old electronics at special household hazardous waste collection sites, as throwing them out can be particularly harmful to the environment.
And lastly, you should not just throw your tree or wreaths out. Christmas trees and wreaths can be brought to collection sites for composting. Oftentimes, these discarded trees are chipped up and used in landscaping as mulch. So you can feel good about your tree being used to bring new life to the Earth.