I was thinking about 'reduce, reuse, recycle' tonight. The holiday's are literally right around the corner and I started wondering about how much is wasted and thrown out that could be saved during this time of year. My brain started racing. I know we, as a family, recycle everything we can after we celebrate, throw out some, but still throw out much less than we used to, but it still seems like too much. Here are some ideas that might help your household with keeping a few things out of the landfill over the next couple of holiday weekends.
1) Recycle everything (cardboard and plastic mostly). Most toys have a hard plastic that cannot be recycled. Double check for the recycle 1 and 2 symbols on the packaging. All of the cardboard can be recycled though, and don't forget tags from clothes, other packaging and most wrapping paper. (Check here for details on wrapping paper.)
2) Boxes and gift bags can be saved and reused for years and years.
3) Invest in reusable gift bags. Or, make gift bags on your own using cloth scraps, old jeans, men's dress shirts, or fun kids t-shirts.
4) Buy recycled wrapping paper or use the comic section of the newspaper.
5) Use cloth ribbon and bows to decorate gifts. These can be used year after year.
6) Keep the plastic twisty ties and rubber bands that hold toy parts together. Can even label a gift boxes to store. The twisty ties that usually come on gifts are usually thicker than the garbage bag variety, super handy to have around the house.
7) Instead of buying all of your gifts, make a few. Baked goods, dry soup mixes, and homemade crafts are great to give as well as receive. You can even include the recipe.
8) After using gift cards save them to refill for someone else or reuse for yourself. (I've used gift cards for scrapbooking and my son has used them for bookmarks.)
9) Have your kids (or yourself) make the gift tags and cards. These give a special touch to the gift, especially for grandparents, aunts and uncles.
10) Don't forget to shop local. This will reduce your holiday footprint and support your local economy.