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‘Tis the Season to Make Less Waste


 

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American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, adding one million tons of waste to landfills each week.  But together we can change that.  

Denver Recycles encourages you to keep waste prevention, recycling and composting in mind as you move into this festive (and often wasteful) time of year. 

Wrap with Reused Materials. Get creative with your gift wrapping with reused materials.

  • Fabrics are a great way to wrap and re-wrap presents each year.  Pick up some fabric at your favorite thrift store or estate sale, wrap your gifts, save the fabric for next year, and you’ll be on your way to ditching wrapping paper for good.  Fabric scraps, tea towels and pillow cases work great as gift wrap.
  • Haven’t broken the paper grocery bag habit yet? Put those paper bags to use as gift wrap.  Add a design or drawing for a little extra touch and recycle the paper bags later. 
  • Save newspapers, old maps, calendars and magazine pages for gift wrap with some character and recycle those materials afterwards.
  • Skip plastic bows and ribbon and choose natural decorations like small twigs and pinecones to top your gift.  Use fabric ribbons or twine and then save them to be used again. 

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 membership.  Check out Create Memories, Not Garbage and their Merry Memory Make for more zero waste gift ideas.

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 empty aluminum pie tins. Familiarize yourself with Denver’s recycling guidelines prior to shopping to know what can be recycled in your purple cart. 

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 family tradition! Thrift stores a great way to stock up on reusable and eclectic dishware for entertaining.

Maximize recycling by recycling right.

Most holiday food packaging, such empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs, are recyclable in your purple cart. The same is true for plain holiday cards. We will not be accepting ANY wrapping paper this holiday season and onward for recycling. This includes plain, metallic, and glittery paper.  Remember-- plastic bags, metallic or glittery 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 Recycle Your Holiday Lights. And, don’t forget to participate in Treecycle after the holidays!

 

Prevent Food Waste

 

Compost your food waste and napkins.

The Denver Composts program is perfect for keeping wasted food, leftovers, bones, dairy, vegetable scraps, and 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. Not a Denver Composts customer? Sign up today.

Store food correctly.

Don’t let those delicious holiday meal leftovers go bad before they’re eaten. Read up on proper and preferred food storage tips.

Try the Guestimator tool.

Planning meals for large groups can be difficult and costly. Take the guess work out of meal prep and try this Guestimator tool (don’t worry, the tool lets you plan for leftovers!).

 

Quick Links

Use Maps Instead of Wrapping Paper.

Skip Plastic Bows, Pinecones Make Great Decorations!

Fabrics Make Great REUSABLE Wrapping Paper.