It’s estimated that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, more than 1 million tons of additional waste is generated each week nationwide. Consider some of these tips and ideas to help reduce waste.
Use reusable gift wrap or alternative gift wrapping ideas
Scarves, bandannas, and newspaper (comic section) are great alternatives for gift wrap.
Send electronic or recycled-content cards
Electronic holiday cards reduce paper waste. If you are purchasing cards, look for recycled ones.
Take reusable cloth bags on shopping trips
Help reduce the thousands of bags that end up in the landfills during the holidays.
Purchase a live tree that can be replanted after the holidays
Or recycle your live tree when you are done with it at. Make a donation to the Boy Scouts of America to pick up your tree or bring it to Deschutes Recycling in Bend at no charge in the month of January.
Give the gift of togetherness
Consider making a charitable donation in someone else’s name. Or, give an experience or an event to remember, such as tickets to a concert, sporting event, or memberships to a museum or zoo.
Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day
This saves energy and lights last longer.
Use rechargeable batteries
About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.
Remember to recycle your old electronics at Deschutes Recycling, located at Knott Landfill in Bend (61050 SE 27th Street). TVs, computers, monitors, desktop printers, keyboards and computer mice can be recycled for free. Other electronics can be recycled for a nominal fee.
Deschutes Recycling is also accepting Christmas lights for recycling at no charge. Light must be removed from the tree.
Holiday items you can recycle:
Regular gift wrapping paper (no foil), paper shopping bags, gift boxes, holiday cards and envelopes, packing paper, cardboard packing pieces, holiday catalogs.
Holiday items that can’t go in your blue recycling cart:
Liners and tissue paper from shopping bags and shoe/gift boxes (that you don’t want to reuse), ribbon, foil backed wrapping paper, plastic bags and wrappers,
For more ideas on how to reduce your waste over the holidays, visit rethinkwasteproject.org/reduce/reduce-waste-over-the-holidays/