According to the EPA, Americans generate about 1 million extra tons of waste during the holidays.1 That is a lot of tons.
Wrapping paper makes up a big part of this. But it doesn’t have to.
No one wants to be the Grinch who doesn’t wrap presents, but there are ways to keep the trash to a minimum. If you’re the crafty type, the web is littered (pun definitely intended) with tips for how to repurpose old wrapping paper for various household projects. Do you mail a lot of packages? Old wrapping paper makes great packing material.
And even if you don’t see yourself wallpapering the back of your bookshelf any time soon, there are still plenty of options.
Consider using gift bags or gift boxes instead of wrapping paper or, for larger or harder-to-wrap items, just add a ribbon and you’re done. Buy thicker, more durable brands of wrapping paper that can be reused next year (just avoid tearing the paper as you unwrap the gifts). Or, save money by pressing yesterday’s comics section or just plain brown paper (which can actually be really attractive) into service as a fun wrapping option.
If none of these ideas grabs your fancy, don’t worry: Montgomery County does accept non-foil-coated wrapping paper for recycling. So keep a bin on hand during Christmas morning clean-up, instead of piling all that balled-up refuse into a trash bag. (Remember to remove the ribbons and bows first!) There’s no better time than the holidays to begin streamlining that refuse footprint.
Source Link: http://www.epa.gov/region9/waste/recycling/index.html
By Scott Harris, Freelance Writer. Read Scott’s other posts on the benefits of environmental peer pressure, church’s rain garden and birds and climate change.