Get Ready for Christmas: 6 Tips for Eco-friendly Unwrapping

Merry Christmas! As you’re unwrapping presents tomorrow, here are some tips to make it easier to reduce waste, reuse and recycle.

1. Before everyone dives into the gifts, tell your family that you want to be greener this year and ask them to use a little extra care in unwrapping presents. Designate a box or large bag for collecting the wrapping, and put it in an easily accessible place.

2. As presents are unwrapped, separate the recyclable wrapping paper from ribbons, mylar, plastic. Lay the paper flat and set it aside; later, you can go through it and decide what can be reused. You can roll paper that’s in good condition around a cardboard tube, secure it with a rubber band and save it for next year. Wrinkled paper can be smoothed out with an iron set on the lowest, non-steam setting (test a corner first). Damaged paper can be shredded for a pretty box filler in next year’s packages. Very damaged paper can be put in the recycling bin.

3. Gather up ribbons, gift bags, tags, boxes, mylar paper and tissue paper and lay them in a box so they don’t get squashed during the Christmas morning excitement. Later, you can go through them and see which ones can be stored for reuse.

4. Flatten the non-reusable boxes and cardboard packaging from toys and other gifts put them in the recycling bins.

5. Many toys are attached to the boxes with twisty ties; save those in a zip-lock bag to use in the kitchen and garden.

6. Some plastic packaging may not be recyclable; look for the recycle symbol and corresponding number on the packaging and check with your recycling company about which types of plastic it accepts.

May the peace and joy of Christmas be yours tomorrow and throughout the new year.
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You might also enjoy…

One Family’s Real Simple Christmas
Can You Compost a Poinsettia?
13 Creative Ways to Reuse Christmas Cards

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

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