Green Living: Keeping the Yuletide Green

With presents and guests and a whole load of cooking, wrapping, and decorating coming your way, it’s easy to forget about being green this time of year. There’s just so much else to do!

Thankfully, there are some easy and mostly post-holiday things you can do to stay eco-friendly this time of year.

Recycle Broken Christmas Lights
If your lights are broken by the end of the holidays, you may be tempted to toss them and buy a new string for next year. But hold on! Some recycling facilities will take your old Christmas lights and recycle them for you. To find them, just go to, type “String Lights” into the search box, put your city in, click Search, and you’ll see every facility in your area that you could take your lights to. If you’re willing to wait, you could also hold on to the lights until early next November when Home Depot will be doing a free recycling program.

Dealing With the Tree
Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree. It’s a lovely thing to have a grand tree, it’s just getting rid of it that can be the tricky part. In January, you’ll no doubt see hundreds of trees lining the streets, waiting to be dumped in a landfill somewhere.

But here’s what you can do! Many counties or cities will offer Christmas tree recycling programs, where they take the trees, mulch them, and use the mulch to beautify the city. All you need to do is take your tree to a specific location or (if you’re lucky), city services will take it with the normal trash. Just go to your city or county’s website to find out about their program. If it turns out your city isn’t offering tree recycling, try researching nearby towns (one of them is sure to have a program, and I bet they won’t mind an extra tree or two).

All That Paper!
Here’s the big one – all the wrapping paper this time of year. During the big day, you may be too tired to even think about trying to recycle the stuff – but you should! What we do in my family is have a big bag that we fill up as we open presents and then it goes straight into our recycling bin.

You could even make a game of it if you have small children. For every wrapper they put in the recycling bag they could get a small treat (a Hershey’s Kiss for example)!

So there are three easy tips to help make the Yuletide green! Happy Holidays!

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