Treat Your Trash Can Right: Reduce Christmas Waste

While Christmas is the time of giving, your trash can shouldn’t be on the receiving end. When you think about it, there are quite a few ways to reduce Christmas waste.

Christmas tree

shutterstock_89150698Instead of buying a real Christmas tree, invest in a quality artificial one. Today’s artificial Christmas trees are very lifelike and can be used year after year. While a quality tree might be more expensive than a real tree, consider it an investment and in the process you’ll do Mother Nature a favor.

If you have to have a real tree, you can cut the tree into pieces after Christmas and burn it if you have a fireplace. Not only will you reduce Christmas waste, your house will benefit from a pine tree scent.

Wrapping paper

Every year, tons wrapping paper is being used to wrap presents. Yet what you give your family and friends might just as well fit into a gift bag. After Christmas, a gift bag can serve a multitude of purposes and thus stay out of the trash can. If you have to use wrapping paper, try to save the paper to be used again.

Giving gifts

Take a moment and consider how you can reduce waste when giving gifts.

• If you have people on your Christmas list that you want to surprise with a book, consider giving them an electronic version. E-books don’t require wrapping and can be read on a portable reader or on a computer.

• Homemade gifts are always appreciated. Whether you knit someone a sweater, bake a tin of cookies, or cook a specialty jam, you’re guaranteed to be rewarded with a smile.

• Have you heard that one person’s trash might be another person’s treasure? You might have something that is no longer of use to you or has fallen out of grace, but that doesn’t mean someone else might not be thrilled to have it.

• If you’re not sure what to give or you’re worried about expensive postage, consider giving someone a gift card. Gift cards come in neat little pouches, don’t need wrapping and can be send in the mail in a regular envelop.

Christmas cards

Every year millions of dollars are spend on buying and sending Christmas cards. You can reduce Christmas waste and treat your and other’s trash can right by not sending paper cards this year but opting for electronic cards.

Keep the cards you receive out of your trash can by donating them to a school or charitable organization or make creative use of them by way of a collage.

Christmas food

shutterstock_167353871When you’re expecting guests for Christmas dinner, it’s easy to go overboard on your grocery shopping.

• Limit your expenses by creating a menu or a food list before heading out. Not only will you save money, you’ll have less waste.

• If you have leftovers from dinner, place them in containers and store them in the fridge or freezer.

• The carcass of a chicken or turkey can be boiled to make soup, leftover veggies can be added.

• Leftover potatoes can be fried, while extra meat goes great with sandwiches.

• If you don’t want to deal with leftovers, consider packaging the food and giving it to a homeless person rather than throwing it in the trash.

Be responsible and do your part. Treat your trash can right and reduce Christmas waste.