Give the planet a present this holiday season by making more of an effort to recycle as you get festive. From your initial hectic planning to the days when its time to take everything down, there are many opportunities to bring recycling into your holiday routine this year. Here are seven holiday recycling tips to get you started.
1. Donate Trees to Non-Profit Organizations That Recycle
Some non-profit groups will pick up trees and wreathes after the holiday season. If you can’t find a charity organization that offers this service near you, visit your local recycling center with your yuletide greenery. Just remember to remove the tinsel, hooks, and other adornments.
2. Recycle Old Light Sets Instead of Tossing Them
It never fails. You’re decking the halls and that favorite set of string lights you’ve had for years finally gives out. Instead of tossing them when you get your snazzy new LED set, do a little searching online for a recycling center that will take old string lights. They usually accept these lights for the copper inside of them.
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3. If It’s Plastic, You Can Probably Recycle It
Whether it’s in the form of bubble wrap or the stuff that’s keeping action figures and dolls in a box until they’re snatched out on Christmas morning, plastic is everywhere during the holiday season. Thankfully, you can recycle most plastics. Just gather it all up and visit your nearest recycling center.
4. You Can Recycle Batteries and Bulbs, Too!
Some of those pretty lighted things you put up around your home for the holidays run on batteries. When it’s time to replace ones that have worn out since you last put stuff up, hang on to your old batteries and take them to a hazardous waste facility for recycling. Burned out LED bulbs can also be recycled, but older style incandescent bulbs aren’t recyclable.
5. See If Local Businesses Will Take Packing Materials
A lot of stuff that gets shipped during the holiday season comes in boxes with Styrofoam blocks and packing peanuts. Many municipalities won’t accept it for curbside recycling. But what you can do is contact local businesses to see if they’ll take packing materials off your hands for reuse for their own shipping needs.
6. Give or Recycle Old Electronics
If you get a spiffy new smartphone, tablet, laptop, or TV set from Santa, don’t just toss your old electronics. For things that still work, see if a local non-profit will take your gadgets. With electronics that no longer work well enough to donate, ask your local municipality where to drop it off.
7. Recycle Your Boxes and Bags, But Not Your Ribbons and Bows
You can drop off gift boxes and bags at most recycling centers. First, remove handles from the bags and break down the boxes. Ribbons and bows, wreak havoc with sorting machines at most recycling centers, so it’s best to reuse these fancy accessories whenever possible.
Want to go even greener this holiday season? Consider getting a real tree that has its roots packed in breathable burlap wrapping. After the holidays are over, you can plant it outside and watch it thrive and grow for many years.