By Melanie Stewart
After weeks of preparation, the holiday season is finally here, so let’s talk about cleaning up after!
Hosting or attending a holiday party? We hope you are using reusable items, but if you can’t, consider compostable or recyclable. Waste Less. Recycle More. @ Lunch applies at any event! Let guests know where to dispose of items, making it just as easy as sending them to the landfill.
Christmas trees can be reused in your own yard; whole to provide birds some shelter or branches can be cut off and placed over perennial plants to protect again frost heave. The unused portion or entire tree can be recycled. Remove nails, wires, ornaments, tree stands, plastic bags, and lights (flocked trees are ok) and take them to any of the locations listed below, until Jan 9th. Wreaths/evergreen roping are not accepted but can be composted once you remove the metal wires. Volunteers will be in place on January 7th and 8th from 10am-4pm to help unload. Save gas and spread some holiday cheer by combining trips with your neighbors! Click here for complete information and updated locations.
Have old Christmas lights that you don’t use anymore, or dead strands? Take them to Scrap Central, or one of their drop off sites, for free recycling. Remove all packaging, bags, twist ties, and rubber bands and Scrap Central will recycle them, donating the proceeds to local charities.
Use received holiday cards for crafts, kid projects, or scrapbooking and recycle everything else. Consider electronic cards next year and save a tree. Reuse as many wrapping and decorating supplies as you can. Compost leftover food that you won’t eat and take leftover goodies to the office or local groups.
Take the time to note what you’d like to change next year, and save money during after-Christmas sales. Do you need some extra dishes or cloth napkins so you can eat with resuables? Too much wasted food? Write down what you can cut back on now. Were the holidays more about stuff than substance? You aren’t alone, 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending. Consider cutting back and start planning with your family now. Reduce what you buy, draw names, host an alternative gift fair, or donate to a charity instead. Simplify the holidays now to have a great season next year.