A few years back, the Green SAHM posted a wonderful article entitled “Can You Control the Christmas Trash?” It takes a look at ways to try to reduce the amount of garbage you produce over the Christmas holiday. Full of great tips and suggestions.
Taken from Green SAHM:
Christmas generates a horrendous amount of garbage. It’s not just the wrapping paper. It’s the packaging. The excess food. The greeting cards.
All of this goes into making for a fun holiday, but it can also be horrendously wasteful. What can you do to get things under control?
While you can’t control how people wrap gifts to you, you can control how you wrap gifts. I already have a post on greening your gift wrap if you need ideas for this.
You may not be able to stop people from using wrapping paper and such for your gifts, but you can keep it from being entirely wasted. Kids can get very creative with wrapping paper, and I don’t mean just balling it up and having a wrapping paper ball fight.
If it doesn’t have plastic or metallic prints it can often be recycled. This depends on your area, so check on it. Many recycling companies have websites now, so this can be pretty easy to research.
And of course, if it’s not too badly damaged you can save it for future wrapping purposes. It may drive some people nuts (my inlaws, for example), but where is the actual harm?
This is also why I love gift bags. I think I’ve pretty much broken my husband’s idea that they should be tied shut. Both gift bags and decorative tissue paper can be reused, often repeatedly. I’ve never understood people who throw these out after just one use.
This is the stuff that can really, really drive you nuts. Goes double if you have kids. It can take a ridiculously long time to get all their toys freed from the overenthusiastic packages. Plastic, wires, strings and cardboard are often combined to hold the toy completely immobile and all but inaccessible.
The first step is to think about what you ask for. When people want ideas from you, think about whether you need it and how bad the packaging is. With some things there is not a whole lot you can do about it.
Check all packaging for recycleability. Unfortunately, most plastic that toys and electronics are wrapped in is not clearly labeled for recycling. And if you live in an area, as I do, where only #1 and #2 can be recycled, and only in bottle form, you’re pretty much sunk for recycling any of this.
Don’t forget about shipped packages when thinking about packaging. If you’re going to come up with a use for it, save it! So much is highly reusable, while many kinds of shipping peanuts don’t break down that well in landfills, so far as I know. Shipping peanuts can also make interesting craft supplies for kids. There’s a quick guide on recycling shipping supplies on eHow that you may enjoy.
The continue reading her suggestions, click HERE.