Green and Merry: What to do with Christmas waste

After the last crumbs of the holiday feast have been eaten, the gifts opened, and the red and green decors are no longer in fashion, what do should we do with all the waste we made this merry-making season?

Studies say that people in the west and several countries that celebrate Christmas throw away more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. Everything from wrapping paper, cards, trinkets, food waste, to Christmas trees are thrown away after the festive fun is over.

Imagine tons of tin foil, glass, paper, cans, and plastic piling up twice the size on one day than on every single day of the year. The holidays may have brought good tidings for you, but not really for the environment as more solid waste is produced. Here are simple ways you can help reduce waste and harm to the earth without being a scrooge:

It’s a wrap!

Part of the fun of receiving gifts is the exciting feeling of tearing wrapping paper and finding out what’s inside. But this encourages a wasteful habit as the wrapper is oftentimes used only once and thrown away. Keep the scraps of paper and use them to make an art project, say a Christmas scap book or a wall framed decor you can hang for next year. Try to be creative and use the scraps to make “new” gift wrapping paper.

Cards sent with love

Handwritten greeting cards are sweet and nothing can feel more personal than a holiday message sent via mail. If you have received several cards this year, try cutting them up and  re-use them next year as gift tags.

All that glitters

Reuse your Christmas tree lights, baubles, tinsel and plastic Christmas trees. Better yet, try using a real tree or a similar plant for next year. Old lights that no longer work should be taken to your local recycling center.

For more ideas, check out


Holidays aren’t complete without some fizz, wine or cocktails, but it leaves several used plastic and glass bottles. Make sure to put the plastic bottles in the recycling bin, and as for the empty cork and wine bottles, there are several creative ideas on how you can use them as unique house decor. You can use the bottles as candle or flower holders to liven up your living space.


If there’s a lot of Christmas leftovers in your fridge, try to be creative and look for different recipes you can use. Leftover Christmas ham can be a great addition to a homemade pizza. Meat can be made into pies and sandwiches. Fruits can be made into shakes and frozen desserts.

Photos from Pexels

About Dianne Pineda 394 Articles
Magazine and online writer based in South Korea. Nerdy news writer by day, Korean pop culture writer by night.

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