It's the morning after. Santa has come and gone. And you need a few elves!
It's the most mind-numbing time of the year. You need to clean up this mess. You need a walkway through your home. You need to get Christmas behind you, for goodness sakes, and get on with life.
But before you start dragging bags of rubbish out to the curb, stop and think. 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 ways you can reduce your waste this Christmas - and maybe save some money next Christmas as well.
On Christmas morning, make a 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 biodegradable mulch.
First, however, you need to totally 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.