Does your holiday season end with a mountain of wrapping paper, gift boxes and ribbon piled up in your living room? You’re not alone. Americans throw out 25% more trash than usual during the holiday season, which adds up to about one million tons per week. If only it were all recyclable! Ribbons, bows and metallic, dyed or laminated decorative papers are not suitable for recycling. Instead, most of the glitter and foil decked items will end up stuffed in a trash can, soon to be taken to a local landfill. Since the most common litter in our waterways is household trash, discarded wrapping paper can end up wrapping up our watersheds.
Here are four creative ways to reduce holiday waste:
- Wrap gifts in alternative coverings like newspaper, magazine pages, or brown paper bags.
- Carefully remove wrapping paper from gifts you receive and reuse the paper on gifts you give.
- Use gift bags instead of wrapping paper, as bags are easier to reuse.
- Skip ribbons and bows and use natural products like evergreen twigs, berries, or even mini pinecones to decorate.
This year, give the gift of sustainability and clean water with your holiday presents.