You survived the holidays. Congratulations! Unfortunately, chances are that you’re drowning in crumpled wrapping paper, plastic packaging and cardboard shipping boxes.
It can be tempting just to toss all of your holiday wrapping trash in a garbage bag and haul it out to the curb, but it’s important to remember that all of that waste will head straight for a landfill. Plastic alone can take as long as to 500 years to decompose completely, but plastic recycling isn’t the only thing that matters.
A national recycling rate of 30% could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount that removing 25 million cars from the road would, and an individual household can really make a difference after the holidays.
Do your best to get recycling information from local recycle centers or waste removal companies on what you can recycle after the holidays. You may not even need to get recycling information to do the most basic things, but it will help you figure out what plastic packages and varieties of wrapping paper you can recycle.
You can often recycle the thick plastic packages that most electronics and toys come wrapped in, and you can also recycle any cardboard boxes you receive. Recycle them or save them to use for next year’s presents. Try to buy environmentally-friendly wrapping paper and make sure you recycle it rather than tossing it. If you’re careful about unwrapping presents, you may even be able to re-use the wrapping.
You can also find recycling information about recycling e waste, since the electronics your family receives for the holidays might make older electronics obsolete. You can recycle things like old laptops, iPods, phones and tablets, and sometimes you can even get money for them. Look up e waste recycle centers in your area to find out if you can bring in your old electronics, rather than tossing them in the trash.
Be conscious about your recycling after the holidays and you could make a significant positive impact on the environment.