Greening up Christmas: Post Holiday

Now that Christmas is over, and other holidays are going to be ending, what methods can you take to make sure the clean-up has as little impact on the environment as possible?  Here are a couple ideas:

  • If you received gifts in regular wrapping paper, save it and use it to pad around your ornaments and decorations when you put them away.  They make great cushioning paper.  Read about wrapping paper from earth911 who says: “if every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.” If you were careful when opening gifts, you may be able to reuse the wrapping paper for gifts next year.  My father and I wrapped all of our gifts in leftover tissue paper and plain cream colored packaging paper this year.  We also use newspaper which we can then use to start fires with in our woodstove over the winter.
  • Of course everyone knows to save your gift bags and reuse them next year.  You can also use them to bag up extra decorations as needed.
  • Some places will actually recycle your christmas tree and turn it into mulchIn Huntsville Alabama there is a Botanical Garden that will do this if you drop the tree off.  Do some research and see who else in your area might be providing this same service.
  • Re-gift unwanted gifts. If you feel bad about asking for the receipt to return a gift, and if your gifters don’t have the for-sight to provide you with the receipt just in case, then re-gift the item.  I love regifting, so long as I’m giving it to someone I know will appreciate it.
  • In my article about how to reduce paper waste this Christmas, I mentioned that you can donate your christmas cards to St. Jude’s Children’s Ranch to be recycled into new cards.  Make-stuff.com also provides a list of ways you can creatively reuse your christmas cards as well.

What other creative ways do you make your post-holiday clean-up more eco-friendly?

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