Recycling Christmas Packaging

You've thrilled and surprised each other with Christmas gifts.  Your rainbow of boxes beneath the tree has gone trailing around the room in a flurry of Christmas morning package-tearing excitement!  It would be easy to scoop all of that packaging into the garbage.  But you can do better than that.  Here are a few gentle reminders that we can keep holiday packaging out of our landfills.

Recycle cardboard, plain paper and plastics in most municipal recycling programs.  The key is typically to make sure the items are clean and, if necessary, sorted.

Recycle polystyrene (bulky foam packaging around electronics) in a local recycling program or send it to a participating recycler.

Ask your local package shipping store if it can reuse clean packing peanuts.

Since most wrapping paper cannot be recycled, save to rewrap gifts or for craft projects.  Ask a school art teacher if she could use a neat stack of recycled wrapping paper.  Use wrapping paper to create your own patterns for sewing projects.  Let your kids use the grid on the back for a math project.  Use it as drawer liner.  Use crumpled paper as padding for mailing items.

Be green and frugal by saving ribbon and bows to use again.

As for the idea of cutting back on disposable packaging and wrapping paper altogether:  there's always next year!

How are you making sure holiday packaging gets recycled?