5 items ev­ery­one should re­cy­cle af­ter the hol­i­days

Dayton Daily News - - L!FE - By Terri Ben­nett McClatchy News­pa­pers

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.

News Ser­vice photo McClatchy

Chances are some of those new hol­i­day gifts will be re­plac­ing older model elec­tron­ics. In­stead of let­ting them col­lect dust, re­cy­cle or do­nate them.

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