Christmas is over, so what now?

December 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

WAIT! Before you throw out those boxes or return that hideous sweater your Aunt Tilda bought you, READ THIS! Here’s a quick list of tips about what to do to make sustainable uses of all types of leftovers from Christmas! (or for my people, the still-continuing Hanukkah!

  1. Food. Have leftover food? Instead of throwing it out, here are a whole bunch of things you can do with it:
    • Compost. Take your leftovers, especially your fruits and vegetables, and take the time to start your very own compost heap in the backyard! Cover it with a tarp, and keep adding to it. By the time Spring comes, you’ll have some of the best natural fertilizer possible.
    • Donate. For those foods that went more or less untouched, why not donate them to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter? It means no waste, and you’re providing another family with a happy holiday as well.
    • Save. Of course, there’s always the option to save it in the fridge for your family to eat later. Never a bad choice.
  2. Wrappings. Boxes, bags, and everything in between can be put to new use, rather than turning it into waste:
    • Boxes. Got clothing in boxes? Well then, save and reuse those boxes for later gifts of clothing or oddly-shaped items! Otherwise, those, and any other boxes from gifts you got can be recycled! Just dismantle and fold them, it’s as easy as that!
    • Bags. Save them, and use them for giving gifts to others, or for carrying various things to various places.
    • Wrapping Paper. Check your local regulations, but you might be able to recycle it! If it happens to be in good shape, save it for wrapping other gifts. If it’s not in great shape, it still makes good material for children’s art projects.
    • Ribbons and Bows. These are easily reused for later gifts, or for art and decorating.
  3. Gifts. Didn’t like something you got? Already have one? Don’t know what to do with that check from Uncle Ted? Here’s a few sustainable suggestions:
    • Things you didn’t like. While there’s always the option to return them, do keep in mind the ability to donate them to those less fortunate than you.
    • Money. Have monetary gifts, or money back from returns? If you’ve already received everything you wanted for the holidays, consider making donations to those less fortunate. Sustainability isn’t just about the environment, it requires a sustainable economy and sustainable relationships. Donate to a local soup kitchen, charity, or make a microloan on a website like Kiva.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


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