Reducing Holiday Waste: Advice From Our Recycling Center In Chicago
The holidays are a time for giving, but all that giving creates a lot of waste! In fact, American’s produce 25% more waste during the holiday season than any other time of year! This season, we want to help you do your best to minimize the impact your holiday has on the environment. Consider these 8 tips to reduce holiday waste this year and every year!
8 Tips For Reducing Your Holiday Waste
- Host A Zero-Waste Event. Skip the disposable dishes and flatware and use reusable products instead. Most food plates can’t be recycled, which means every single one of those dishes is going straight to the landfill. Cloth napkins will add a special touch to your event and reusable decorations will keep your waste to a minimum. Recycle and compost what you can to complete your zero-waste gathering.
- Bring Your Own Bags. It’s pretty common for people to bring their own, reusable bags when shopping for groceries, but less so when shopping for gifts. There’s no reason for that. Grab your shopping bags and use them to haul home your gifts and goodies.
- Stop Junk Mail. The holidays are the worst time of year when it comes to receiving junk mail. If catalogs are cluttering your mailbox and countertops, put a stop to it. Call the 800 numbers of the publications and ask to be removed from their mailing lists. Chances are if you’ve already bought from them, you’re also getting email solicitations, too. So you won’t really be missing out on anything by stopping the catalog.
- Give The Gift Of Recharging. 40% of battery sales are made during the holidays. Give rechargables and keep the old ones out of landfills.
- Re-Think Your Wrapping. We know. Part of the fun of gift giving is seeing all the brightly colored gifts wrapped up. But traditional wrapping paper has a high clay content and low paper content. This makes it hard to recycle and many recycling centers in Chicago won’t accept it. You can avoid this extra waste by using decorated kraft paper or paper bags, comics, posters, maps, calendar pages, or fabric as wrap instead. Ship items in fabric or newspaper to avoid Styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap.
- Give An Experience. You can eliminate most of your waste altogether by giving your loved ones an experience instead of a physical thing. Consider a membership to a zoo or museum, tickets to the theater, or money to put towards a trip.
- Recycling The Old. Once you’ve got all new goodies, what will happen to your old stuff? Many electronics can be recycled at major retailers or by contacting a recycling center in Chicago. Other things that are recyclable are string lights, extension cords, holiday cards, paper and cardboard boxes.
- Greener Greetings. We send approximately 1.5 billion cards in the U.S every holiday season. We’d need to plant 300,000 new trees every year to make up for that. Many of these cards get tossed in the trash in January. You can send greener greetings by selecting cards that are made of recycled content and are recyclable themselves or using one of many virtual greeting card companies to email your holiday wishes.
Talk to your hauler. What will they accept curbside? What can be dropped off at a recycling center in Chicago?
Contact A Recycling Center In Chicago To Learn About Your Options
If you’re unsure what types of waste your hauler will accept for recycling, call them or visit their website to see if they have a list of accepted items. You can also contact Combined Resources, Inc., a recycling center in Chicago, and find out if they will accept dropped off items or arrange a special pick-up to collect your recyclables. With a little effort, you can create a zero-waste holiday. Before you know it, every year will be zero-waste!