Dreaming of a Green Christmas (Day 7)

Mitten

According to the Metro Waste Authority, in the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw away 25% more trash than any other time of year. According to their website, this accounts for an additional 25 million tons of garbage. If you know me or follow my posts you know I have a special spot in my heart for Mother Earth. Growing up in Iowa, it was almost a guarantee that I’d have a white Christmas morning. With the temperatures changing so much in recent years I have grown accustomed to a green, or rather brown Christmas. If everyone took small steps such as recycling or reusing, we might get our climate back on track before it’s too late (is it too late already?).

On the 7th day of fitness, Hello Wellness gave to me: A how-to for a  greener Christmas! What to recycle, what to repurpose, and what to trash!

First things first, I live in Des Moines, Iowa and am referencing my local Metro Waste Authority. Please check to see what your local guidelines are. I think there are a lot of things that are uniform across the country but double check just in case.

Recycle Me or Repurpose Me:
Cardboard (think of all the toy packaging that goes into the trash but could be recycled)
Gift Boxes
Wrapping paper
Holiday cards (think of a creative way to repurpose the unwritten side of the card)
Envelopes (please recycle envelopes all year round!)

Repurpose Me or Trash Me:
Glittery or metallic paper
Ribbons (my mom always repurposed ribbons and bows when I was little)
Bows

Trash Me:
Disposable cups, plates, flatware (if your gathering is small, use regular dinnerware)
Christmas lights

And finally, what to do with your tree? If you have a real tree with roots, consider re-planting it. If your tree is cut, please consider composting instead of taking to the curb. I don’t have a problem with my tree because it’s made from aluminum! Isn’t she a beaut? Born in 1959 at Montgomery Ward in the Quad Cities, she arrived at my house about seven years ago. Talk about a long life for a tree!