5 items everyone should recycle after the holidays
Once Santa’s sleigh has left the neighborhood and the gifts have all been opened, there are a few important items you’ll want to make sure you get rid of the right way. Do your part and recycle these five items that the holidays are sure to leave behind. Live Christmas trees
Christmas trees are naturally biodegradable and beneficial for the environment outside our homes. If you purchased a tree with roots, plant it in your backyard or donate it to a local school, park or cemetery for planting. For trees without roots, search Earth911.com for “Christmas Tree” to check for recyclers in your area. Otherwise, if you have a large backyard, let the tree decompose naturally in an out of the way location while it continues to provide a natural habitat for birds. Used electronics
Chances are some of those new holiday gifts will be replacing older model electronics. Instead of letting them collect dust, Do Your Part and recycle or donate them. Many online trade-in websites can help you with this task, and may even pay you for the working ones. If you’d rather skip the hassle of shipping and handling, bring used electronics to a local Goodwill collection center where the electronics will be refurbished or recycled. Packaging materials
Cardboard gift boxes, shipping boxes, and other packaging material can be added recycled along with other paper recyclables. If the gift box is still in usable condition, save it to reuse again next year. Packaging materials like Styrofoam peanuts are not recyclable but can be taken back to shipping stores where it can be reused. Holiday lights
If your incandescent holiday lights no longer work be sure to recycle them. Large retailers offer holiday light trade-in or recycling programs as an incentive to upgrade to LED lights. HolidayLEDS.com will accept your broken or no longer wanted incandescent lights any time and they’ll even give you credit toward your next purchase of LED lights. Holiday greeting cards
For decades St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City, Nev., has been collecting Christmas cards that they re-purpose and resell to raise funds for organization’s mission. Add a new tradition to the end of your holiday season by donating your stack of holiday cards to a good cause. Only the fronts of cards are needed and they should be clear of writing or other marks on the back of the front flap.
Wrapping paper is the glaring item missing from this list. While all wrapping paper should be recyclable that’s simply not the case. Many are laminated or mixed with other nonrecyclable materials like foil, glitter or plastic. You’re better off choosing recyclable items or ones that can be used again such as gift bags, sheets of paper from magazines or newspapers, sheet music, or even colorful scarves make greener choices for gift wrap.
Chances are some of those new holiday gifts will be replacing older model electronics. Instead of letting them collect dust, recycle or donate them.