Walking around the neighborhood this morning I saw trash can after trash can of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and more discards from Christmas gift giving. The glut of paper goods begins well before Christmas. In the United States alone, an estimated 2.65 billion greeting cards were sent to friends and loved ones with holiday greetings. Add the envelopes and the stamps, and that’s a lot of trees cut down. It’s estimated Americans will dispose of an estimated 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bags during the holiday season and almost all of it can be recycled.
The list goes on. The cardboard rolls the wrapping paper is wound around, the tissue paper, gift boxes and tags, the New Year’s party favors, calendars and catalogs – and that’s just the recyclable paper products. The plastic bubble packages so many products come in these days? Once you manage to get them open, they can be recycled. Even that most enduring of seasonal icons, the Christmas tree, can be recycled in many communities, where it is turned into compost. Check your local paper for tree pick-ups or locations to drop them.
This year why not break down those cardboard boxes and stack them under your recycle bin? While you’re at it throw the non-glittery wrapping paper and cardboard tubes in the recycle bin. End the year by reducing your contribution to the local landfill and begin the New Year knowing you have taken a step to help the environment!