For many of us, the holiday season is a time of tremendous joy. There are gifts, there’s lots of food, and of course there’s time spent savoring family traditions.
But there are some unintended side effects to all this seasonal frivolity. One of the big ones is waste. Each and every year, the holiday season generates a huge volume of packaging, wrapping paper, and more, all of which overburdens already-busy recycling and waste management facilities.
What can you and your family do to be part of the solution? Keep recycling as one of your top priorities throughout the holiday season. Here are just a few guidelines.
● Try to purchase wrapping paper and materials made from recycled/recyclable materials. Most municipal recycling centers will accept wrapping paper so long as it’s not metallic or glittery. Keep this in mind as you shop for seasonal supplies.
● Keep recycling bins handy during festive gatherings. Having the whole family over for a yuletide shindig? Set out clearly marked bins for glass, plastic, and paper waste, preventing everyone’s waste from ending up in the trash can.
● Keep lights and tinsel out of your recycling bin. There are certain things you just shouldn’t recycle, as they can clog up the recycling facility. Lights and tinsel top the list. When cleanup time comes around, just throw ‘em in the trash.
● Breakdown and recycle cardboard. This is one of the most basic and effective steps you can take to minimize your contributions to the landfill. Take the time to flatten those cardboard boxes and place them in your recycling bin.
● Focus on experiential gifts. Remember,you don’t have to give everyone a present that can be wrapped and placed under the tree. Something like concert tickets or a weekend getaway can be much sweeter and create fewer waste byproducts.
● Seek sustainable brands. While it’s important to watch out for greenwashing, you can seek out products that are made from eco-friendly, compostable,or sustainably sourced materials.
● Use your own shopping bags. Headed to a brick and mortar store? Don’t let them give you any disposable plastic bags. Bring your own bags instead.
● Remember to rinse your recyclables. Getting ready to toss an eggnog carton into your recycling bin? Take just a second to rinse it off, removing as much food residue as you can. This helps recycling centers run much more efficiently.
● Stay abreast of your recycling schedule. Keep in mind that the holidays may shuffle your typical recycling days. Make sure to keep an eye on the website for your local waste management service.
There’s plenty that you can do to be a smart recycler during the holiday season. With further questions about effective recycling and waste management, don’t hesitate to contact our team here at WasteXperts.