Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recycle Your Holiday Waste

You now know to look for recycled paper and alternative fiber wrapping paper for the holidays, but it's easy to forget to make sure all that material gets recycled when you are done celebrating. This year, collect the paper, bows and boxes and keep them out of your garbage.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, the average American household increases its trash output by 25%, resulting in 5 million extra tons of garbage. But it doesn't have to be a total loss. Most paper can be readily recycled, either through curbside programs or local drop-off centers. The trick is to prepare by having a box or bag ready, so when everyone starts tearing through their presents under the tree in an ecstatic frenzy, you can easily divert the scraps into one convenient location.

Better than third-party recycling is to save wrapping paper, bows and boxes for reuse later. If you have room, you can use them for next year, or possibly even other holidays. Wrapping paper scraps make great packaging or craft material, and ribbons can be used as ties.

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