4 Quick Tips for an 'Environment-Friendly' Christmas

| by Sierra Club

By Julie Littman

With Christmas upon us, you might be thinking about what you’re going to cook for dinner instead of how to recycle your wrapping paper. But during the holiday season, each household increases its waste by 25 percent. If you already recycle your tree each year, consider recycling additional Christmas items to reduce your waste.

Christmas Trees

Instead of lugging your tree to the dumpster, consider joining a local Christmas tree recycling program or start your own. Many disposal companies will collect trees left on the sidewalk or dropped off at their locations. Recycled trees can be used for mulch, beachfront erosion prevention, and many other uses. The National Christmas Tree Association also lists unique ways people have reused Christmas trees.

Gift Bags & Wrapping Paper
Gift bags tend to be quite sturdy and don’t tear like wrapping paper, which means you can easily reuse them for your next holiday or birthday. Get generic, colored gift bags so you can reuse them for your next occasion. Instead of buying new wrapping paper, making your own from old magazines and calendars.


If you ever break one of your family’s cherished ornaments, don’t throw it out, try fixing it. You also can donate unwanted ornaments to a thrift store or make your own by using burned out light bulbs.

For any excess or unwanted holiday food (i.e. the dreaded fruitcake) this season, reduce your food waste by starting your own compost bin. Composting leads to less methane gas released into the environment from landfills. It also creates rich and nutritious soil that can be put back into the earth.

For additional holiday recycling tips and to find your local recycling centers, visit Earth911.com.