Going Green with the HolidayCleanup
The holiday season hasarrived. Celebrations and gifts will be at the forefront of the festivities.Presents ripped open, gift wrap and tissue paper, bags and boxes tore into insearch for the gift. There is bound to be piles of wrap and tissue paper, boxesand bags, in nearly each and every home, that translates to a whole lot ofwaste to go to the landfill and whole lot of plastic bags to haul it out in.
Not so good for theenvironment. The gift wrap industry earns roughly 2.6 billion in yearly retailsales, the bulk of it, Christmas. The United States will add an additional 5 milliontons of waste is generated during the holidays, 4 million tones of that 5million – gift wrap and plastic bags, according to the Clean Air Council.
There are smartersolutions, this is a perfect time of the year to practice reuse, reduce andrecycle wisely. It can be an educational lesson for kids too and teach themresponsibility. Read on for green cleaning tips and ways to reuse some of that’trash’.
Ways to reuse
Look at some of theways that you can reuse gift wrap and tissue paper, bows and ribbon, boxes andbags before you toss it out into the garbage. Don’t forget about those emptygift wrap cardboard rolls either, those are good for arts and crafts and smallfurry pets love them!
Read on for moreideas:
· Arts and crafts are anexcellent way to use up some of the materials left over from the holidays,school projects and just for fun ones.
· Holiday paper makesfor great scrap book matting, bright and colorful or metallic or printed, evencellophane could work.
· If you actually havelarge enough chunks of surviving gift wrap, use it to re-wrap other gifts, orcollect small bits of paper and make a collage of gift wrap to use, use thepaper to make gift tags. This is a great idea if you find yourself constantlygiving gifts year round.
· Shred the paper, butuse it in gift bags throughout the year, or reuse the tissue paper. Don’tforget your bows or ribbons; they can be reused here too.
· Save the boxes, theytend to break down nicely and can be hauled out whenever you have a present togive that requires a box; you will always have some on hand. I do not mean onlythe Christmas ones, save the ones from all the stores, that way you are coveredon birthdays and non Christmas holidays.
· Use the gift wrap forsomething like practicing origami and save the nice pieces of paper for whenyou get the hang of it.
· Line your bird’s cagewith the paper … better yet line your own shelves that tend to get a littlemessy, it’s one of those hidden bonuses, makes cleaning easier and the giftwrap is free.
Ways to Reduce
The biggest way toreduce your contribution of waste at the holidays is to use environmentallyresponsible wrapping materials, items such as glossy, metallic or embellishedmay not be easily recycled, if recyclable at all. More tips and ideas below:
· Don’t be shy intelling family and friends, that box wrap paper or even newspapers are morethan welcomed, appreciated even.
· Take up a new art andwrap your gift in the Japanese style of ………. using cloths, you can turnit into an activity with friends or new way of giving gifts. By using cloths,you can easily re wrap another gift with the cloth and pass on the unique wayto present a gift and to save on waste.
· By using last year’s bags,ribbons, bows and boxes (if kept in good shape), you reduce the need to buymore, thus reducing the amount of waste you add to the landfill this year.
· Use old Christmas cardfronts to make gift tags and reduce the need to buy more.
Ways to Recycle
· Turn cleaning up onChristmas morning over to the children, make a game out of it and maybe theylearn a thing or too.
· Once the trash ofChristmas morning is gathered, it’s time to sort it into piles of recyclable,reuse next year and garbage.
· Boxes, bags andribbons can be easily reused next year, as can some tissue papers.
· Shred all the paperheading out to the landfill so you can get more paper per bag and use lessplastic bags for transport or garbage.
· Got those clingy foampeanuts, sometimes shipping stores in your area will take those off your handsand re-use them. Same with the air-bubble-wraps-everyone-loves-to-popwrappings, if they are not popped out, the shipping company may take them.
· Houses with childrenon Christmas morning most likely have many new batteries. Gather up the expiredand dead ones that are lying around and recycle them at a facility that does so.
· Christmas trees, livetrees can be mulched, and many communities collect these trees for just thatpurpose. Got plastic? You a step ahead of the green game … but you knew that.