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Recycle your Christmas rubbish

So another holiday season has passed by - gifts given and unwrapped, food eaten and your tree has probably been taken down by now.

Hopefully you’ve had a reasonably green Xmas by crafting, upcycling or regifting your presents and then following our tips on alternative present wrapping. But what to do with your leftover greetings cards, wrapping paper and, if you had a real one, Christmas tree?

Greetings Cards


Don’t just throw them out! As long as you have somewhere to store them, there are loads of ways to re-use them throughout the year and during the next holiday season. Why not spend the dark and dreary January and February evenings making them into postcards, gifts tags, gift bags and decorations for next year?

Easiest of all - cut off the front part of the card (the part with the pretty picture on it) and use the other side as a postcard to write your holiday message on next year.

Gift tags are also super easy, all you need is an old card with a nice design and some ribbon, thread or string. Cutting the edges with shearing scissors or into interesting shapes also looks great. Then punch a hole and put the ribbon through. Voila!

Left over cards can also be made into decorations like garlands, baubles or this awesome wreath.

Anything else left over can normally be recycled like normal paper, or even put into your compost bin. And don’t forget to keep the envelopes to re-use throughout the year or as scrap paper.

Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper is harder to recycle in your normal recycling bin as it’s often shiny, glittery or made of plastic, so check before you throw it out.

The best thing to do, if it’s still in one or two pieces is keep it and use it to wrap a present for someone else next year. However, if it’s completely fallen to pieces shredding it and using it as stuffing for packages or furniture bags. Or why not use scraps to make paper beads or bowls.

Christmas trees

Ideally you had an articifcial, recycled or potted Christmas tree which is now safely stored back up in the loft or replanted in your garden. But if not, what should you do with the, now probably pretty dead-looking, fir tree that’s been in your house for the last couple of weeks?

Most cities have a facility where you can take your tree to be recycled which is then normally turned into mulch for local parks and woodland, or sometimes you can even take it home for your own garden. Ask your local authorities about the services in your area.

If you compost at home, fir trees can be chopped up or shredded and added to your compost bin - just make sure you take all of the decorations and lights off first.

Or if you have a garden, why not use your tree as a new habitat for birds? You’ll need to support the tree with stakes or a stand, or stand it against a garage or shed. Adding a pine cone bird feeder will really attract those song birds.

If you’re unlucky enough to not have any local recycling facilities or a garden for your tree, you could always donate it to a farm or chop it up to use as firewood.

Whatever you do with it, chucking it out onto the street with the rest of your trash is the worst option imagineable.

Filed under christmas recycling recycle reuse upcycle crafting greetings cards Christmas trees gift tags wrapping wreath