The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling During the Holiday Season

During the holiday season, we use more materials than most any other time of the year. Envelopes for holiday cards, packaging for gifts, and decorations. Not only do we use a lot of materials, but we use a huge variety of materials. The biggest question is “what are we supposed to do with these things when we’re done?” Your first thought might be to throw them away when you’re done using it. If you’re devoted to green living, then you might think to recycle the materials. Here’s the kicker, though. Not all of these materials are recyclable. It’s important that you know which materials you can put into the recycling bin and which ones need to be thrown away or reused. We’re going to talk about the do’s and don’ts of recycling during the holiday season.

It’s Important to Know the Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling

Recycling plants do amazing things for the environment. However, the machines that “do” the recycling can only process specific materials. Some of the materials that we use during the holidays aren’t compatible with the recycling plants. If you send everything that you use to the recycling plants, then the workers will waste time sifting through the materials. They’ll end up throwing the non-recyclable materials away. If you know which things you can’t recycle, then there are other ways that you can prevent them from ending up in the landfill. It’s better to know which materials you can send to be recycled and which you should try and reuse.

Gift Wrapping

We use so many different things to wrap our gifts. From wrapping paper to gift bags, the materials add up. Also, every gift needs decorative bows, ribbons, and cards. Now, wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons are NOT recyclable. Especially, glittered wrapping paper. You should avoid tossing ripped wrapping paper into the recycling bin. Instead, you should throw it in the trash or try to find a way to reuse it. If you want to go the extra mile for the environment, then you can try taking an eco-friendly approach to gift wrapping. Using recycled paper to wrap and make gift bags is a great first step.

do’s and don’ts of recycling, gift wrap, wrapping paper, ribbon

Packaging Materials

Almost every gift can be sent via snail mail. With each mailed package comes packing peanuts, cardboard boxes, padded envelopes, and bubble wrap. Packing peanuts, padded envelopes, and bubble wrap are NOT recyclable. However, cardboard boxes are. You should either throw away these non-recyclable materials or reuse them. You can make adorable packing peanut animals with your kids Or, you can reuse bubble wrap in creative ways to make use of it.

Bottles, Cans, and Paper

Bottles, cans, and paper are all recyclable. Basically, anything that you use to cook a holiday meal can be recycled. Plastic bottles and aluminum cans can go right into the recycling bin. Also, paper plates and regular envelopes are easily recyclable. I said earlier that cardboard boxes can be recycled which is true. Some plain wrapping paper can be recycled, but check with your local recycling plant, first. Anything that you can recycle on a regular day can be recycled during the holidays.


In conclusion, there are some things that you should recycle and others that can only be thrown away or reused. If you want to take a step in the green direction, then try and reuse the items that can’t be recycled. Always make sure you are aware of the items you should and shouldn’t recycle. The do’s and don’ts of recycling are easy, you just need to be informed, first.

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Bailey Longhurst

I am amazed every day by the beauty that this world provides for us and think it is important to preserve it! Taking care of ourselves and our earth is crucial and I want to help people discover new ways to do both. Publishing for Green and Growing is a unique way that I can get my message across, and I hope you all enjoy what we write about!

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