Why Does It Matter?
We could bore you with the holiday statistics that we Americans create about 5 million more tons of waste during the holidays than any other time of year. But, we think you probably have a feel for that unfortunate tidbit… We think that you might be looking for solutions to the problem. We know you care about your neighborhood and the larger environmental community.
So, we are here to help you wrap up your holiday wrapping in a responsible way. Here are some ideas to get you going…
What Should You Do?
You might be surprised to find some really cool ways to reuse items around the house for wrapping gifts. Comic strips, old wallpaper, aluminum foil, paper grocery bags and posters are just a few ideas for wrapping material that might have otherwise been thrown away. If you carefully choose which items to reuse, they might also be recyclable after the gift is unwrapped.
Speaking of carefully choosing your wrapping material… Did you know that most wrapping paper is not recyclable? Most commercial wrapping papers do not contain paper fibers that are desirable in the recycling process. They may have been made from recycled paper (which is good), but that does not mean they can be recycled again.
Kraft paper (the stuff used to make paper grocery bags) is recyclable. Many times you can find rolls of Kraft paper in shipping stores. Why not show off your creative streak and decorate it yourself? Gift bags are great because they are reusable! There are other creative ideas like putting all of a giftee’s gifts in one cloth bag marked with their name. Or, how about not wrapping the gifts? You could hide gifts and have the kids go on a Scavenger Hunt to find them.
How about the cardboard? That is recyclable! Break it down and put it in your curbside bin or drop it off at one of the District’s 24 hour Recycling Drop-off Centers.
Don’t forget: some shipping materials can be reused or recycled.
Molded polystyrene is not recyclable. But, packing peanuts can be gathered and dropped off for reuse at a UPS store (there are locations in Avon and Brownsburg). Also, the air pillows that are found in some shipping containers can be recycled along with plastic shopping bags at Target, Walmart, Kroger and Marsh.
So, now you know. Go out and put the “green” in your holiday and reduce your contribution to Mt. Crumpit.
For all you techies, you won’t want to miss our next edition where we will tell you what you can do with all of your outdated “so last model” gadgets. Stay tuned!