The holiday season has come and gone yet again. However, after the great unwrapping, you realize that Christmas produces mounds of trash. Boxes, wrapping paper, greenery and leftover decorations create a big cleanup challenge. Here are some ideas for managing the mess in eco-friendly ways.
Recycle Paper and Trees
Christmas trees and empty boxes can be recycled. Break down the boxes and drop them off at a recycling collection location. Many communities now provide curbside pickup of Christmas trees. If curbside pickup isn’t available, call your local waste management agency to find out where to drop off the tree.
Recycle Christmas Lights
Don’t just throw away old strings of lights or bulbs. Fluorescent lamps and CFLs contain mercury, which is toxic if it gets into the environment. However, these and other types of holiday lighting can be recycled. Your city or county probably has a collection program. Alternatively, stores like Lowe’s and Ikea are drop off locations for recycling lights.
Donate Old Decorations
After the holidays, it’s common to have decorations that are still usable, but you’ve had them for years. Consider donating them to someone who can use them. Call and ask organizations like schools, hospitals, and homeless shelters. You won’t have much trouble finding someone who will put those old ornaments to good use.
Rent a Dumpster
The holidays can easily produce more trash than your garbage cans will hold. Renting a dumpster from a company like Green Bin may be the answer. You can have the unit dropped off in your driveway. Once it’s full of empty boxes and the like, have the contents delivered to a recycling center.
Avoiding Holiday Trash
One of the best ways to dispose of Christmas trash is to avoid using items that have to be thrown out. Consider getting a live Christmas tree if you prefer not to buy an artificial one. Once the holidays are over, plant the tree in your yard. When you wrap presents, try using festive scarves or towels for small packages. Unlike paper wrap, these can be reused.
It is easier than ever to dispose of Christmas decorations and trash in an eco-friendly way. The fact that you can choose to reuse boxes and decorative items makes managing the Christmas morning cleanup simpler still. Plus, you have the satisfaction of knowing you are doing your part to protect the environment.