Germania Today | Winter 2019

Switch : After your old traditional Christmas lights have died and you’ve recycled them, consider switching to LED lights! They are brighter, last longer, and more energy efficient than traditional Christmas lights. Picking Up the Packaging Creative alternatives : Just because you want to wrap a gift doesn’t mean you have to use wrapping paper! Old newspapers, magazines, comics, and paper grocery bags can serve as unique alternatives to set your gift apart. Gift bags and tissue paper are also great options that can be used year after year. Reuse : Bows and ribbons often wind up in the paper recycling bin as they cling to ripped wrapping. This can cause huge problems for the paper pulping process, so it’s important to remove them. Rather than purchasing new ones each year, consider keeping a collection of different styles and colors to decorate gifts in the years to come. Make your own : If you’re feeling creative, consider making your own bows! Use old scraps of wrapping paper or colorful recycled construction paper to fold your own. There are many online guides that show you how to make a variety of fun bows to decorate your gifts. Recycle : Can you imagine how many boxes are shipped during the holiday season? Fortunately, cardboard is recyclable in most places. Check with your local city or municipal waste collection program for details on what types of cardboard can be collected and recycled. Break them down : Break down leftover boxes and save them for your next move or for wrapping gifts next year. You can even use your boxes to ship old Christmas lights to one of the aforementioned recycling programs!

anta may leave dozens of wonderfully wrapped gifts beneath our decorated trees, but who cleans up after they’ve all been torn open? Each holiday season, Americans produce on average 25% more garbage than any other time of the year. Before you put it all on the curb, check out our Christmas cleanup guide to Repurpose it : If you have a chipper-shredder, turn leftover trees into mulch for your garden. If you don’t have a chipper or a chain saw, you can typically rent them from your local hardware store for a day. Recycle it : Some cities will even pick up your tree and recycle it for you. Check with your local waste collection service or your city or county office and ask if they do so. Rent it : Did you know that you can actually rent a live Christmas tree? It’s true! There are companies that will deliver a live tree to your home for a set period of time. At the end of the rental period, they pick it up and replant it so it can bring joy to a new home next year! Donate it : If you’ve outgrown your artificial tree or simply want to replace it, don’t throw your old one out! You can help bring the Christmas spirit to other households by donating your unwanted artificial trees to a place like Goodwill. Wrapping Up Your Christmas Lights Repurpose : Traditional Christmas lights are made of copper wire, plastic insulation, and glass. Most of this can be recycled! There are a number of organizations that will happily take your broken lights and extract useful materials to be repurposed. The company Holiday LEDs will even give you a discount coupon when you send your old lights to them to be recycled! Donate : If your lights still work but you’d like to replace them, consider donating them. learn how to minimize holiday waste! Cleaning Up Your Christmas Tree

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