It’s December 26, Now What Do I Do?

Well, the fun and celebration of Christmas is almost over and you have a mess leftover, but you don’t want to throw everything away — you know there are second uses for some of this stuff. What to do?

Well, the first thing is — if you have a live tree — recycle it! There are several ways to recycle your tree:

  1. Find your local recycling center — most villages have recycling Christmas tree services where you can either drop off the tree or someone will pick it up and then they use the tree for a variety of purposes including mulch. If you’re unsure of where to drop your tree off, the best thing to do is call your local village.
  2. Mulch — if you have access to a wood chipper, you can make your own mulch. These wood chips then can be used around plants, in your compost bin or for garden paths.
  3. A Home for the Birds — if you have room in your backyard, needle trees provide a perfect bird habitat — make sure you have removed all of the decorations. The tree will need to be secured with the stand of stakes and twine. You can then provide food for the birds creating pine cone bird feeders using suet holders, and hanging strings of popcorn or fresh fruit.
  4. Wreaths and Garlands — cut off the branches and use them to make winter wreaths and garlands — you can also add scented pine cones to complement the scent of the fresh-cut trees.

What about the other Christmas stuff?

Wrapping paper — shred up the paper and reuse it to stuff bags or boxes, or in boxes when you ship items throughout the year. Or, you can always reuse the paper to wrap delicate items, such as ornaments, when packing away Christmas decorations.

Gift bags — reuse gift bags. I’m a hoarder of gift bags and have been known to reuse and reuse gift bags until I can no longer do so.

Use reusuable containers for leftovers — instead of using disposable containers, bring reusuable containers or send your guests home with leftovers in reusuable containers.

Clean that closet, donate to a local shelter — now that you’ve got new clothes, toys, etc, go through anything you may not need anymore and donate those items to a local shelter — not only are you helping the environment, you’re allowing more people to use these items.

Recycle electronics — just do it! It’s not difficult! Our lovely, electronic gadgets are full of many harmful chemicals so electronics need to be disposed of and recycled properly. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site for more information and local drop off locations; http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm. Also, your local village should have drop off information too.

 

 

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