The holidays are upon us, and with all of the gift giving, decorating, and parties, it can be challenging for even the most avid recyclers and Zero Waste advocates.
Fortunately, Eco-Cycle’s new holiday recycling guide is now available and full of ideas to help you enjoy the season without generating lots of waste.
Here are few to get you started:
First, don’t assume that you have to buy new stuff. I realize that this may be tough with kids of certain ages but it’s not impossible. Besides, do we really want to be teaching our kids that if they behave, ho ho ho, then they’ll get rewarded by getting everything they think they want? I’m a little afraid to even go there because it feels taboo. But if we truly value Nature and our fellow human beings, then we have to get creative, give of ourselves, and not get caught up so much in the tsunami of stuff that we’re being told we need, especially at this time of year.
Instead of buying new products or lots of flashy plastic stuff, consider giving your family and friends meaningful experiences such as trips to museums, concerts, a cooking class, or the theater, or give them a special gift card, say for a night of free babysitting. Visit thrift stores for gifts. You’ll be surprised at the cool stuff you can find around Boulder County.
Tasty food is also a wonderful gift. Homemade cookies or granola in reusable mason jars with recipes included are popular.
Also consider giving gifts that will help others reduce waste, such as stainless steel water bottles, chop sticks, mugs, and lunch containers.
Second, gift wrapping and decorating. As we usually do, Eco-Cycle will accept used gift wrapping paper at the Boulder County Recycling Center drop-off center December 26th – February 1st 2019. Because gift wrap has a high clay and low paper content, it’s hard to recycle, which is why we don’t accept it year-round. Please remove all bows, tinsel, plastic doo dahs, and any other non-paper adornments before bringing your wrapping paper to the drop-off center.
Third, get creative with sustainable holiday gift tags and cards. If you’ve got old calendars, cards, posters, comic books, or maps around, use these materials to make new gift cards and tags, or festive placemats. If you need more inspiration take a trip to Art Parts in Boulder, which has a multitude of lightly used art supplies of all kinds
And if you’re shipping packages, steer clear of plastic bubble wrap and foam. Balled up paper works just as well and can be recycled.
Tune in next week for the next round of Eco-Cycle tips on recycling during the holidays.
KGNU will bring you recycling tips and covering zero waste issues throughout the year in partnership with Eco-Cycle, thanks to a grant from Boulder County.