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How do I responsibly dispose of holiday decorations?


July 16, 2021

We here at Haulla wish you had a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!

In time for the holiday season, we wanted to write about these festivities related to waste management since shopping for gifts and cooking up holiday feasts will significantly increase the waste volume. American households generate 25% more waste than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas; that’s 5 million tons per week, 1 million higher than 4 million per week during other seasons. Now that we know the problem, let’s dive into the ways to reuse, recycle, and correctly dispose of some items.

Disposing of Christmas trees (Try to recycle them if possible!)

Firstly, even though you may really like your Christmas tree and would like to have it out for longer, we recommend against leaving it out for too long, since trees will dry out and be more susceptible to fires. When you do remove it, make sure to take off decorations, lights and any other unnatural parts from the tree, so that it can safely be recycled. When removing the tree from inside the house, make sure to wrap the tree in old blankets, sheets, or bags so that it minimizes needle or sap droppings from the tree onto the floor. When you clean up needles from the floor, use a broom or pick up with your hands instead of vacuuming because needles will damage the vacuum. The tree, then, can be picked up and recycled – mostly turned into mulch – by your local waste management and recycling department/company. Check with them on the specifics. You may also want to consider reusing the tree at your house in creative ways: it can serve as a pond habitat or a bird house in the backyard; you can turn it into mulch yourself for the garden; you can make decorations or other small items from the tree. Get creative!

Reuse gift wrappings

Don’t just cut up ribbons and rip through wrapping papers to open presents. Try to keep them intact, so they can be reused later. Besides being able to keep using a wrapping paper with a design you like, you are saving money and time by not having to buy more wrapping paper. Ribbons from presents can serve other tying functions later, so save them up instead of just throwing them away.

You can compost a lot more items than you think

There should be a lot of extra egg shells and fruit peels with Christmas baking and fruit desserts. Both of these, which I believe end up in the trash in most households, will serve as great composting materials. For the wrapping materials above, if you really don’t want to keep them in your house, compost them! Cardboard and even some types of wrapping paper can be cut up and composted.

With so much going on during the holiday season, it’s easy to forget how much waste we end up generating and throwing away. As we celebrate the joys and blessings in our life, we should also try to minimize the negative impact these celebrations may have on our environment. A simple thing we can all learn to do is quickly looking up if what’s going to be thrown away can be recycled or composted. We hope our tips help you to bring the holidays seasons to a close by disposing of wastes in a safe and environment-friendly manner!

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