7 When the Holidays keep on giving

Over the years we have perfected our gift wrapping abilities. Where we can we use gift bags that seem to circulate through the family year after year. Tissue paper is reused as well...until it gets to wrinkly and has holes in it. We used to use wrapping paper that was FSC certified and could be recycled after use. This year we made our own wrapping paper from paper we saved from packages we received. 

But what is wrapped around the present is just the tip of the iceberg. There can be so much packaging on gifts (especially toys) that it can add up to a lot of waste at the curb the week after the holidays. Here are some tips so you can reduce the amount of waste at your curb:

* Look at the boxes and figure out if you can reuse them. Multiple uses = better
* Recycle gift tags or save them and use them for kids crafts!
* Recycle gift wrap and tissue paper that can no longer be used
* Save and reuse gift bags and tissue paper
* Save ribbons and reuse them next year
* All those plastic ties that hold toys in place in the box - hella annoying eh? - save those too. You can use them to tie power cords or keep bags closed in the pantry.
* Separate plastic from cardboard in the packaging. This will reduce the amount of contamination in each of those waste streams.
* Check to see what can be recycled in your area. You may be surprised. We were able to recycle all the packaging that came with every present we got.

Here is what our waste look liked this week. The green bin is 75% full and is from the full week (that turkey takes up a lot of room!). The garbage bag is 3 weeks worth of waste. The blue bins are 2 weeks worth of recycling and no we did not drink all that in the box on the far right. I was de-cluttering and got rid of our collection of wine/booze bottles.

How did you reduce the amount of waste you produced this holiday?

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  1. More great waste-reducing tips! I checked out the wrapping paper you made with your kids: adorable! I tried to minimize waste by giving gift baskets that didn't require wrapping and recycling all the cardboard in the toys my son received. Love your tip about those little plastic twist tie things, I will do that next time!

  2. good for you! we wrap in newspaper and then compost it. I am a new follower from the hop..pls follow back if you can!

  3. Thanks Sarah! Gift baskets are a fantastic idea! I have found some toys are now coming with twine instead of those little plastic ties. Love little surprises like that.

  4. We did newspaper last year. Worked great!

  5. My neices and nephews are hilarious - they know I save and re-use every ribbon from their gifts. "Here's your ribbon Aunt Monica!" they happily say. It's adorable.
    P.S. This year I made snow man kits from recyclables from around the house - including some of that ribbon!

  6. What are in snowman kits???