The relatives have gone home, radio stations have finally stopped playing “Santa Baby” and Valentine’s Day cards are already lining the shelves at the drug store. It’s safe to say the holidays are over. Before you trash all the decorations and crumpled gift wrap to make way for 2015, take a look at these tips for making your holiday cleanup process a little more eco-friendly.
Reorganize and Recycle Wrapping
If you still have the wrapping remnants from Christmas morning burning a hole in the corner of the living room, don’t just toss it all in the trash. Instead, sort through the mostly non-biodegradable paper, gift bags and boxes to determine what can be repurposed as gift wrap and decorations for the 2015 holidays. You’ll be doing your part to save landfills from the (millions of) tons of wrapping paper that piles up every year.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree
We know it’s sad, but the Christmas tree has got to go. Make parting with your tree a little easier this year by sending it off to be reprocessed. Real trees are biodegradable and can easily be turned into mulch for use in gardens and parks. Here are a few tips from the National Christmas Tree Association to send your tree off the green way. And don’t forget about your wreath and other greeneries—they can all be recycled like your tree.
Do More With Wine Bottles
You’ve lined up so many empty wine and champagne bottles on your back porch that the neighbors kids are starting to look at you funny. Hey, it’s the holiday season! While you can certainly send all those empties off to the recycling center, there are lots of other things you can do to get more use out of them. Check out these 16 ways to reuse and repurpose those old bottles of bubbly.
Properly Dispose of E-Waste
If you gave or received new electronics as holiday gifts, you most likely have some old items you’ll want to dispose of. As electronics often contain toxic materials that will wind up in the waste stream, refrain from dumping your old tablets, computers, cameras, toys and televisions. Here’s some basic information from the EPA on reusing, donating and recycling electronics.
And now, on to an eco-friendly new year!