RECYCLING - A Practical Guide for the Holidays

Dec 09, 2016
Struhs_TJ-WebBy TJ Struhs
Manager, Government Affairs

The holidays are a time of excess.

When it comes to food, there is always room for that extra piece of pie; when it comes to family, 15 people seated around an 8-person table is par for the course; and when it comes to shopping, Santa always remembers how good little Timmy was and so, of course, he is getting that extra gift.

Sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. And sometimes, too much of a good thing is a great thing! While too many people and too much pie certainly have their consequences, there is no such thing as too much recycling.

This year, use paper to embrace the excess and keep it festive, while keeping it sustainable.

1. Wrap Your Gifts in Recyclable Paper or Gift Wrap

Avoid confusion during the post-unwrapping mayhem of Christmas morning and make sure you wrap your gifts in recyclable paper. Not only will it help you achieve that rustic/country-chic look that is all the rage this year, you can take comfort in knowing that that extra gift for little Timmy is wrapped in something that can be recycled again, and again, and again.

2. Send Holiday Cards

Nearly two billion Christmas cards are sent every year during the holiday season. Combine that with online shopping and all those letters to Santa, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is expected to deliver some 16 billion items between now and the end of the year. Good news, though: all those cardboard boxes, letters, and paper Christmas cards are recyclable and, believe it or not, actually make up an important part of the supply stream of recovered material that is used in the manufacturing process.

So, send those Christmas cards, and wrap those gifts in recyclable paper, and write extra long letters to Santa this year. Recycle it all for peace of mind, to boot.

3. Buy Presents Online (Wait…Really?)

Remember how busy USPS is every holiday season? Those 16 billion items flying around the globe need to be packaged in something. There is no better vehicle than a cardboard box. Made from a renewable resource, cardboard boxes are one of the most recycled items in the U.S. with roughly 93 percent recovered for recycling in 2015.

So buy those socks for grandma online, wrap the box it arrives in with recyclable paper, pop it back in the mail and make sure grandma recycles the whole package.

Boom! Holiday recycling mastery: achieved.