Trashy here! Did you know Americans throw out 35% more trash during the holidays!? A lot of this waste goes to landfills where the runoff can leach into water systems, and microplastics can end up in our oceans and eventually the fish we eat. Be good to the SEA-son this year and make sure you are reducing your waste wherever you can.
I have come up with a festive melody to list some of your most used holiday items! Make sure to check out some of the links for additional fun projects and ideas for the holidays!
“On the 12th day of Trash Talk, Trashy had to toss…
Twelve Paper Snowflakes…
This year, after craft time is over and the decorations are worn out, make sure to recycle all paper decorations. The paper is recyclable whether it is white, colored, or lined! And it is recyclable in any size so you can throw the snowflakes and all the confetti you made when cutting them out straight into the recycling bin! Here are some more Eco-Friendly Crafts!
Eleven Packing Pillows…
These alternatives to packing peanuts often come in the gifts you ordered on Cyber Monday. Luckily, they are recyclable at Walmart and Kroger. They must be popped first, but afterward, they can go in the same bin as grocery bags because they are made out of the same thin plastic!
Ten AA Batteries…
REDUCE USE or TRASH SAFELY
So many toys and electronic gifts need batteries to make them work. Try to buy things that are rechargeable instead or invest in rechargeable batteries! After they are used up make sure they are disposed of correctly. Batteries are made from hazardous materials. If they are thrown away incorrectly, the toxic chemicals inside leech into the surrounding environment. Instead, bring your household batteries to ACE Hardware where they can dispose of them properly.
Nine Rolls of Ribbon…
REDUCE USE/ GET CREATIVE
Bows are a great way to add festivity to your packages as well as easy decoration if you don’t want to wrap something. Before tossing it, make sure the only part you recycle is the cardboard roll. The ribbon is not recyclable as most of it is a combination of materials! Some alternatives could include string or even origami paper bows!
Eight Rolls of Gift Wrap…
REDUCE USE/ GET CREATIVE
Unless you are buying a non-metallic, raw paper-based wrapping paper, most conventional wrapping paper will not be recyclable. They are not recyclable because of the coating on the paper, which is often shiny and laminated. If you use gift-wrap, look to find a type that can be recycled or that is made from recycled content. Consumers can also reduce waste by using decorative boxes that do not require wrapping and that can be recycled. The EPA encourages consumers to reuse gift bags and tissue paper, and not discard them after a single use.
Seven Strings of Tinsel…
RE-USE/ GET CREATIVE
Tinsel definitely cannot be recycled. If your tinsel has lost its sparkle and needs to be thrown away, here are some options before throwing it in the trash: 1. Use it as protective packaging when sending more fragile gifts through the mail while adding some festive flair. 2. Use strips of old tinsel to make angel halos for kids. 3. Make new ornaments by stuffing tinsel in clear reusable ornaments. 4. Save in a future craft box for costumes or other projects in the New Year! Check out these ideas for sustainable alternatives!
Six Cardboard Boxes…
After you unwrap all those presents under the tree, make sure to break down those boxes! Cardboard must be broken down to save space in the recycling truck and bin. A box that has not been flattened takes space away from others.
Five Popcorn Tins…
RECYCLE/ GET CREATIVE
Popcorn Tins can be recycled, along with aluminum! Another great way to use these before tossing them is to turn them into an at-home compost bin or a storage container. Check out even more craft ideas here. It’s like getting 2 gifts in 1!
Four Balls of Foil…
What has more holiday spirit than potlucks shared with family and friends? This year, try to bring your dish in a reusable container with a lid instead of using foil. Although it is aluminum, foil and aluminum food trays are not recyclable. Try to minimize their use and only use it when you absolutely need to.
Three Coffee Cups…
Nothing says the holidays like a cup of hot cocoa or a gingerbread latte. Before you head out on a cold winter day, don’t forget to bring your reusable mug, or even a mason jar. Coffee shops will let you fill up your own cup, and most of the time you will even get a discount! Even though they are festive, disposable coffee cups are not recyclable. Learn more about your coffee cup’s impact!
REDUCE USE/ GET CREATIVE
Glass ornaments are a popular seasonal decoration. Unfortunately, try not to break them or they will be headed to the landfill. Although there are occasional events to bring your glass recycling to be transported, glass is not recyclable in Oxford. Because of this, make sure you reuse your ornaments each year and try to throw out as little as possible. Other options for decorations include dried fruits or veggies, popcorn strings, wooden ornaments, or homemade paper ones.
One String of Lights…”
Colorful lights make cold, wintery evenings bright. This year, before tossing your old lights in the garbage, take a few steps to reduce your e-waste. If there is only a single bulb out that is preventing the lights from working, try purchasing a replacement bulb. This is a cheap and easy way to make your lights as good as new. If you need to get rid of them for another reason and they are in working condition, donate them for future uses. If they are in not in working condition and are unable to be fixed, all string lights can be recycled through Home Depot. “Customers of The Home Depot have recycled more than 2 1/2 million holiday light strings since 2008 – that’s equal to nearly 69 million plastic water bottles.”
But what about the Christmas tree?
Thank you for reading my song everyone (I hope you sang along)! In addition to all of these items, there is a special opportunity to recycle Christmas trees in Oxford this year. If you purchased a live Christmas tree and will be putting it out on the curb after Christmas in Oxford, the city will be taking them to the recycling center.From there, the trees will be transported to Lake Enid, where they will be used to provide shelter and hatchery space for the fish.That means your Christmas trees can be used to support habitat!
If you live in Lafayette county but outside of city limits, you can request to have your tree brought to the recycling center, or bring it yourself to be recycled into fish habitat.
Trashy is trying his best to be both Red and GREEN this year and you should too!
For more information about recycling on and off campus, open (click) the present below to read our brand new, comprehensive recycling guide!
It’s our present to you. Have a great holiday!