Be more green this holiday season! Here are some tips on how you can reduce your waste this holiday season:
Zero Waste Holiday Tips
- Trees: Go natural and reusable. Buy a small evergreen tree, and transplant it into your garden next spring. Or use a potted topiary that can be stored on your patio when not being used for the holidays. If you do cut a live tree, check to see if your city/town offers a tree recycling program.
- Decorations: Instead of buying plastic ornaments, try using strings of popcorn and cranberries (which can feed birds or be put in the compost bin afterwards — use natural, non-polyester thread) or origami ornaments made of repurposed magazines, or go to your local thrift shop and look for some pre-loved ornaments. Pack up your decorations at the end of the holidays with newspaper, reused packing peanuts, or old clothes to ensure they last a long time. Consider repurposing used disposable plastic food containers, shipping containers, or sturdy gift boxes for storage.
- Centerpieces: Use potted plants or evergreen cuttings from your yard, and include colorful fruits, instead of buying cut flowers to make centerpieces. When you’re finished, make sure you put the greenery into the compost.
- Lights: When putting up outdoor lights, make sure you use LED holiday lights, which can be up to 90 percent more efficient than incandescent. Put your lights on a timer to make sure that they don’t burn all night. As you’re sorting through your old decorations, remember that both incandescent and LED holiday lights are recyclable. You can keep the toxins in the electric cables from polluting landfills by recycling any broken or outdated lights. The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District will be collecting strings of holiday lights, power strips, and power cords from December 2 through January 10. For more information, click here.
- Leftovers: Supply reusable containers for guests to take home any extra food, or donate unwanted leftovers to your local homeless shelter or food pantry.
- Gifts: Wrapping paper, gift boxes, and holiday cards can all be recycled. You can place these items with your regular curbside recycling if paper is accepted, or you can take it to a local drop-off bin. Remember, plastic bows are not recyclable, so save them for a second (or third!) use!
For more holiday tips, please visit the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District’s website.