A Few Ways To Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle this Holiday Season

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving 2011 has come and gone and the holiday season has officially arrived. In the next few weeks most of us will spend significant amounts of time decorating our dwellings with evergreens, lights, and shiny objects as well as exchanging gifts we’ve made or purchased with our beloved family and friends. While the holidays are meant to be a time of relaxation, good company and abundance, we must not forget about our impact on the environment. Here are a few tips for “greenifying” your holiday season:

  • Reduce your use of paper and plastic.

-Take your own reusable bag to the mall instead of amassing armfuls of paper and plastic bags. Sure you might look a little less without all the “big brown bags” from Bloomingdale’s, but you’ll greatly reduce the waste associated with just getting your items out of the store. If you do amass a bunch of brand name sacks, consider reusing them as wrapping instead of buying more paper.

-Reuse or recycle gift-wrap. Designate someone as the gift-wrap collector during massive unwrapping sessions. Try not to unnecessarily crumple or tear the paper as you unwrap

-although sometimes it’s just too exciting! Instead, fold freshly unwrapped paper into a neat and manageable size and collect it in a paper bag for next year or for your waste management to pick up on trash/recycle day.

  • Recycle your Christmas tree.

There are a number of methods for disposing your tree responsibly… even creatively.

–       After the holidays, take an hour or so to get outside, get some fresh air, and hack up your tree. Chopping it into small pieces will not only allow you to dispose of it in your regular lawn waste bin, but will give you a nice kick start on your new year’s resolution to burn all of the calories you consumed over the holidays!

–       Call a recycler to come take care of it for you. Starting around $30, a team of professionals will come to your house and remove it for you.

–       Mulch your tree and use it in your landscaping.

–       For the more adventurous post-holiday tree recycler, consider eating your tree… yes… you heard that right… eat your tree. Check out this New York Times article for more information: Read the New York Times article Here »