After all of the holiday fun, comes the holiday cleanup—massive amounts of boxes, bags and used wrapping paper thrown away into the trash can. How wasteful! I cannot think of a better time to recycle than during the holidays. But it is not as easy as throwing wrapping paper into a recycling bin. There are definite holiday recycling guidelines to follow. Let’s break down the dos and don’ts of holiday recycling. Buy rechargeable batteries Let’s face it, buying batteries during your holiday shopping is a necessary evil—especially if you have small children. Why not buy rechargeable batteries instead? It will help reduce the number of potentially damaging materials that your family will end up throwing away. Shop with Reusable Cloth Bags Maybe most of you already do this, but for those of you who do not, using your own cloth shopping bags while holiday shopping will help reduce the number of bags thrown away every year. Every little bit helps! Wrap Gifts in Recyclable Paper Despite what you may think, not all wrapping paper can be recycled. Mainly because a lot of holiday wrapping paper is laminated and laminated paper is NOT recyclable. If it is tossed into a recycling bin anyway, the ENTIRE bin becomes unrecyclable. Choose greener options instead. We recommend reusable fabric gift wraps like these! Send Electronic Greeting Cards Sending holiday greeting cards is a well-loved tradition. But what do you do with the cards after December 25? Although some may save them, most people toss them, creating enormous amounts of paper waste. Yes, you can choose to recycle those used cards, but we’ve got an even better idea—send electronic greeting cards and reduce your holiday carbon foot print! Unplug Holiday Lights Unplugging holiday lights during the day has dual purposes: it will save energy and help your lights last longer. Yes, they look pretty. So, why wouldn’t you want to sit and stare at them all day? Well, aside from the obvious, unplugging your holiday lights during the day has dual purposes: it saves energy—which saves you money—and extends the life of your lights. Mulch Live Christmas Trees Many people opt for artificial Christmas trees. They are economical in that you do not have to purchase a new tree every year. In fact, according to the Santaown.com Artificial Christmas Tree Buyers Guide, there are nearly 3 times as many artificial trees sold than real trees! But are they eco-friendly? What we do know is live Christmas trees are biodegradable and can be easily reused for mulch. So, if you are in the minority, at least according to santasown.com, and prefer to buy a live Christmas tree every year, you can put that used tree to good use after the holiday season has ended. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are a good number of options to recycling your Christmas tree. Check them out! About Woodard Cleaning & Restoration Woodard Cleaning & Restoration was founded in 1946 and is located in St. Louis, Missouri. With more than 65 years of experience, Woodard is proud to serve as a preferred provider of water, fire, and smoke restoration services for residential, commercial, and institutional facilities. For more information, visit Woodard’s website, or call 800.466.9308. Want More? Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for awesome tips on everything from cleaning & organization to home maintenance & repairs and DIY projects!