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The answer: not really. We've got the run down on what the heck we're supposed to do with it then.
'Tis the season to be jolly, but as the festive celebrations wind down, it's time to think about how to dispose of the remnants of the holiday season in an eco-friendly way. Here’s a crash course on holiday cleanup!
1. Christmas Trees: Give Them a Second Life
Whether you take them down on December 26th, or wait until March (!)–just make you recycle your tree instead of throwing it in the trash! Many communities offer tree recycling programs that turn your festive fir into mulch or compost for use in local parks and gardens, giving your tree a second life! Check with your local waste management or city services to find a tree recycling drop-off point or curbside collection program in your area.
2. Gift Wrap: When in Doubt, Throw it Out
Fancy gift wrap adds a festive touch to presents, but its landfill destiny is less merry and bright. So while some papers are recyclable, there’s a long list of wrapping paper options that are ineligible for the recycling bin. Your paper should be trashed if…It has glitter, foil, velvet, fabric, plastic, or any texture. It has tape or bows or ribbons. Those sticky tags disqualify it too. And that really thin, cheap stuff is lined with plastic, so that’s out too.
Not sure if your paper is recyclable? When in doubt, throw it out. Otherwise you risk contaminating the paper waste stream.
To play it safe, we turn to simple unbleached kraft paper and reusable ribbons and bows. Newsprint works in a pinch too. As a final alternative, consider using fabric gift bags.
3. Cardboard Boxes and Other External Packaging
Most cardboard is recyclable, so be sure to flatten boxes before placing them in your recycling bin. If you receive items in plastic or Styrofoam packaging, check with local recycling facilities to determine if they accept them. Check with your local city services and waste management to find specific drop-off points for these items.
4. Batteries: Recycle Responsibly
If your holiday gifts include electronic gadgets or toys that require batteries, dispose of used batteries properly. Many communities have designated drop-off locations for battery recycling. Never throw batteries in the regular trash, as they can leak harmful chemicals into the environment! Say it louder for the people in the back: NEVER. Throw. Batteries. In. The. Regular. Trash.
Pro move: choose rechargeable batteries to avoid the disposal question altogether.
5. Food Waste: Compost when Possible
If your holiday feast left you with food scraps, consider composting them instead of tossing them in the trash. Composting not only reduces the amount of waste in landfills but also creates nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Many municipalities offer composting programs or provide resources to help you start composting at home.