10 Simple Strategies for a Lesser-Waste Celebration

In the SIX WEEKS between Thanksgiving and New Year's, Americans make an EXTRA MILLION TONS of trash PER WEEK. Much of the extra waste is from boxes, wrapping and tissue paper, ribbons and bows.


 

The Facts About Holiday Trash:
  • The amount of discarded ribbon would tie a bow around the Earth
  • Wrapping paper must be either thrown in the trash or composted

Wrapping paper is usually blended or coated with materials like wax or plastic, the ink is mixed with clay to bring out the colors,  or glitter may be used for enhancement. 
It is not recyclable!
 

10 Simple Strategies for a
Lesser-Waste Holiday Season


1. Choose wrapping that can be recycled or reused.  Try wrapping your gifts in pillowcases, colorful tablecloths or napkins, scarves, towels or drawstring bags. 

2. Make your own and electronically send greeting cards, using sites like the ones below.
They save money and trees. 


3. Buy recycled-content cards and envelopes. Look on the package for the words, recycled or post-consumer content.

4. Consider making your own greeting cards.
Last year's holiday cards will make beautiful recycled cards and /or numerous gift tags this year. An old tradition worth revisiting!

5. Search flea markets, thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales and in your closets for decorative containers to pack your gifts in. They make unusual and functional gift wrapping.

6.  Design your own wrapping paper using shopping bags, fabric, or "kraft" paper. Decorate with markers, crayons, paint or other finishes.

7. Make greeting cards and gift tags out of recycled materials. Google keywords "make recycled cards" or "make recycled gift tags" for ideas.

8. Make a non-profit donation in the name of the person you're giving a gift to.  Check out some of this one-stop site:

9. Shipping a gift? Reuse foam peanuts, shredded paper, or unbuttered popcorn for packing material.

10. Buy recycled whenever possible.
 
Several specialty stores are scattered around the Twin Cities.  Specialty retailers across the country carry artistic, original, reused or recycled-content products. Search keywords, such as "recycled gift ideas" or "recycled gifts". Here are a few sites to get you started. These are not specifically recommended sites; they are simply sites that sell recycled-content gift items.
 

 

 

 

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