Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recycle Your Holiday Packaging & Cards

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Have you got a mound of wrapping paper and other materials like mine? Here's a few ways you can reuse or recycle that mountain, instead of sending it to the landfill:
  • Place acceptable recyclable paper in your recycle bin for pickup.
  • Compost your paper and paperboard boxes that do not have glossy print on them.
  • Place bows and ribbons in one box to reuse for future packages. Store this with your wrapping supplies so you'll remember that you have them.
  • Save, and nest for storage, all reusable boxes and gift bags.
  • Fold and reuse tissue paper that isn't crumpled beyond use.
  • Save Christmas cards to use for gift tags next year; you probably won't need to buy any more ever again, if you use this idea each year. Here's what I do. Find a suitable box or basket to hold all your supplies. Place inside all your holiday cards, a hole puncher, some string or leftover ribbon pieces, tape and scissors. Keep this near your TV viewing area. Whenever you are watching your favorite programs (Lost, anyone?) you can clip and tie your labels for next year. Check out some samples above.
  • Save all bubble wrap, foam peanuts or popcorn and other protective wrapping that can be reused for mailing or packaging breakables.
  • If you have too much leftover foam peanuts or popcorn, check with nearby pack-n-ship stores. They often will take bags of it for reuse.
  • Place your Christmas tree out at curbside for pickup in time to become post-Christmas mulch.
  • If you strung popcorn, this can be composted also. Pat yourself on the back. This is a very eco-friendly decoration.
  • I've saved a large stack of boxes to be used in place of a counter top compost container. With all these boxes, why buy a $70 container that cannot be composted along with the food inside? When I fill each box, I just drop it into the compost pile. The box serves as brown matter, so my balance is maintained. I hate to admit it, but from Christmas alone, I probably have enough boxes to last me a couple of months. Wow!
  • One last idea that kind of a sidebar: Check your envelopes and packages from overseas for foreign postage stamps. Children often love to save these. You can easily remove them with a razor knife and glue them into an album. Don't forget to date them and label them with the country they came from. It also might be fun to include the card on the same album page.

Got more ideas? I'd love to hear them. Drop me a COMMENT below at the link. See you tomorrow to talk about your green New Year's goals. Got those resolutions written yet?

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