American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, adding one million tons of waste to landfills each week. Together, we can help change this statistic. Here are just a few tips and tools from Denver Recycles that will help you keep waste prevention, recycling, and composting in mind as we move into this festive (and often wasteful) time of year:
Green Your Gifts. Look for gifts with minimal packaging and that are made to last. Better yet, give the gift of a local experience like event tickets, a class, or a membership.
Wrap with Reused Materials. Get creative with your gift wrapping by using reusable materials. Repurposed fabrics, tea towels, and paper bags are great alternatives to single-use wrapping paper (and more personal too!).
Shop with waste prevention and recycling in mind. Purchase your holiday food staples in bulk. If that’s not possible, look for packaging that can be recycled, such as broth cartons, steel cans, and glass jars.
Think reusable. Lots of resources go into creating disposable tableware that’s only used once. If you don’t already, skip the paper plates, plastic utensils, and napkins, and incorporate reusable dinnerware into your holiday tradition.
Compost your food waste and napkins. The Denver Composts program is perfect for keeping wasted food, leftovers, bones, dairy, vegetable scraps, paper napkins, and paper towels out of the landfill by turning them into a useful soil amendment known as compost. After you make a delicious broth from your turkey carcass, remember to place it in your green cart with the rest of your carrot tops and potato peels.
Maximize recycling by recycling right. Most holiday food packaging, such as empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs, are recyclable in your purple cart. The same is true for plain wrapping paper and plain holiday cards. Remember– plastic bags, metallic or glittery wrapping paper or cards, photo paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, old toys, and tissue paper do NOT belong in your purple cart and should be avoided, reused, or placed in the trash.
Participate in seasonal programs offered by Denver Recycles. Bring your unwanted holiday lights to our Cherry Creek Recycle Drop-Off as part of our Recycle Your Holiday Lights program. And, don’t forget to participate in Treecycle after the holidays!
For more information about waste prevention, seasonal recycling options, and all other Denver Recycles programs, visit DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles or call 311 (720-913-1311).