It's the morning after. Santa has come and gone. And you need a few elves!
Formerly festive Christmas wrap is piled high. Bedraggled ribbons bedeck the halls (and everything else). The fridge is bulging with leftovers. You've got a zillion gifts to exchange. And even the tree is looking a bit tired.
It's the most mind-numbing time of the year. You need to clean up this mess. You need a walkway through your house. You need to get Christmas behind you, for goodness sake, and get on with life.
But before you start dragging cans of rubbish out to the curb, stop and think a bit. Give a belated Christmas present to Mother Earth by resolving to add as little as possible to the landfills this season.
Here are just a few eco friendly cleaning tips to help you reduce your waste this Christmas - and maybe save some money next Christmas as well.
On Christmas morning, make an eco friendly cleaning sweep through your home with several bags in hand.
Fill one with boxes, one with gift wrap, one with ribbons and bows, one with holiday cards.
Then plan to recycle the contents in the following ways:
Also check around your community to see whether any children's centers, teacher cooperatives, or recyclers accept holiday trimmings.
Trees take a long time to decompose in landfills.
Most communities, however, provide chipping services that will reduce your tree, wreaths and other greenery to very biodegradable mulch.
First, however, you need to un-trim the tree. Remove ornaments and lights and pack them away for next year. Take off the tree stand. Make sure to remove all tinsel.
Flocked tree? Sorry, you're out of luck. These can't be recycled. Wreaths and garlands can only be recycled if you remove all the metal supports.
This is a good time to start a compost pile. All leftovers (except those containing meat or dairy products) can be composted.
If Santa still owes you a present, ask for a composting bin and get started composting at home. That way, you can keep on giving to Mother Earth in the new year.