Tidings of Green: 6 Eco-Conscious Tips for a Post-Holiday Cleanup

Does anyone else get the urge to rage declutter after the holiday? There’s just so much stufffff and even I, the Queen of Decorations, want a fresh, clean start to the New Year. But you know I don’t like to actually throw away anything. I recycle, donate, and repurpose first! Here’ s six ways you can too.


First, your Christmas tree. Don't just throw it away! Recycle it or reuse it. Many cities offer Christmas tree recycling programs where they will pick up your tree and turn it into mulch or compost. Another option is to reuse your tree. Cut off the branches and use them as decoration or mulch in your garden. Here are 8 Creative Ways to Recycle, or Reuse, Your Christmas Tree


Next, your Christmas cards. Instead of throwing them away, recycle them! Staples offers a program where you can bring in your old cards and they will recycle them for you. You can also get creative and repurpose them into gift tags or ornaments for next year. I have a friend that cuts the pretty elements from cards and crafts them into her own handmade cards or gifts tags.


When it comes to wrapping paper and gift bags, try to reuse them as much as possible. Fold them neatly and store them for next year. Have you seen the meme about Mom’s taking back the gift bags Christmas morning to reuse next year? That’s me! I haven’t bought a new Christmas bag in years!


If you got some gifts that made you think “It’s the thought that counts,” you don’t actually have to hold on to them for a set amount of time. You can donate them now to some one who might really want or need them. Donating unwanted items is a great way to give back to your community and reduce waste. Look for local donation drives or post on your local Buy Nothing group. Someone else may be looking for the exact item you no longer need.


If the holidays brought new electronic gadgets into your life, be sure to dispose of old devices responsibly. Many electronics retailers offer recycling programs for old gadgets, preventing harmful materials from entering landfills. You could also go back to your Buy Nothing group and donate older electronics to get more life from them.


Lastly, plan for next year. Collect clearance Christmas sheets or table cloths to make reusable wrapping paper. Stick to the same theme to reuse your decorations. Many people are clearing out decorations they didn't use this year, so look for decorations on your local Buy Nothing group. Store your decorations carefully so they are in good shape for next year and years to come. If you bought a banner from Party Your World, fold it up accordion style and reuse the plastic film and stiff mailer it came in. Your gift card holders can be reused too. Store them flat and try to protect them from moisture.


Cleaning up after the holidays doesn't have to be a chore – it can be an opportunity to extend the spirit of giving to the planet. Think of it as a chance to spread the love to both your home and Mother Earth. And hey, as you're putting away those decorations and recycling those gift boxes, take a sec to ponder how you can make next year's festivities even more eco-friendly. It's like a New Year's resolution for your celebrations. Happy cleaning, and here's to a greener, cleaner holiday season!


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