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The original item was published from 12/13/2019 9:57:55 AM to 1/7/2020 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: December 13, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Tips for Reducing Waste during the Holiday Season

Holiday dinner  place setting with City of Mansfield Environmental Services logo

Holiday food waste, shopping bags, bows and ribbons, packaging, and wrapping paper contribute an additional one million tons a week to our landfills. However, roughly 80 percent of what is thrown away during the holidays can be recycled or repurposed, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Here are a dozen easy things you can do to reduce waste:

  1. Be Earth Kind. Purchase wrapping paper made from recycled materials. Glitter, embossed and foil wraps can’t be recycled. Better yet, make the wrapping a useful part of the gift; put cookies in reusable tins and toys in colorful baskets that double as storage.cookies wrapped in a decorated tin container
  2. Get Creative. Try not wrapping gifts. Hide them and give the recipients clues to search for the gifts in a treasure hunt. Experiment with the Japanese art of Furoshiki, using fabric or scarves to artfully wrap gifts.Little boy holding a Christmas treasure hunt map
  3. Choose Experiences or Gifts of the Heart. Look beyond material goods. Gifting an experience, like concert tickets, annual passes to state parks or personal gifts like baked goodies, babysitting or dog walking helps to reduce waste and make lasting memories.special event ticket
  4. Give Treasure. Pass on a favorite book, plant start, or family heirloom. Reuse by shopping estate sales, flea markets and resale shops for unique finds.heirloom pocket watch resting on top of a book
  5. Invest and Impart Values. Start a child’s savings account, educational IRA or make a donation to a favorite charity in the recipient’s name.graduating students holding a piggy bank that contains college fund money
  6. BYO Shopping Bag. Plastic bags tangle in sorting equipment at recycling facilities. Use a reusable shopping bag every time you head to the grocery store or mall. If you do use disposable plastic bags, be sure to bring them back to the store for recycling and don’t place in curbside recycling.woman shopping with a reusable shopping bag
  7. Entertaining. Soiled napkins and paper goods can’t be recycled. Use plates, glasses and cutlery that can be washed and reused. Make it easy for your guests to recycle cans and bottles by putting a recycling container next to the trash can.Holiday dinner place setting with plate, napkin, and eating utensils
  8. Recycle correctly. Before you toss that empty eggnog carton into your green cart, make sure to give it a quick rinse. If you aren’t sure what can be recycled, visit Can I Recycle It?, the City’s free recycling search tool.can I recycle it-435x450
  9. Holiday Cards. Save time, money and resources by updating and paring down your list, and by sending e-mail wishes.person writing a note  in a holiday card
  10. Electronics. Get a shiny new computer, tablet or phone this holiday season? Don’t toss out your old model – recycle it responsibly by bringing it to monthly Hazardous Household Waste drop-offs.computer and phone
  11. All That Cardboard. When you’ve finished unwrapping your gifts, be sure to break down the boxes and put them in your recycling cart. Bubble wrap, tissue paper and packing materials have to go into the trash, or save them for reuse.cardboard box with plastic packaging inside
  12. Christmas Trees. Lights and tinsel should be thrown into the trash when they can no longer be used. Live trees can be dropped off at Home Depot. Artificial trees can be repurposed into wreaths, centerpieces or other holiday decorations for next year. Simply cut with a wire cutter and arrange the pieces into new decorations. Christmas trees drop off  site for mulching and composting

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