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Holiday Tips: Give More, Waste Less

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The holidays are a time for exchanging gifts but this year, give more, waste less and lighten the load for Santa's clean up crew!

smart giving
reducing waste over the holidays
recycling during the holidays 

christmas tree recycling

recycle-more, waste-less character with Santa hat Smart Giving

Give homemade gifts, such as cookies, handcrafts, or framed photos.

Give antique, vintage, or used items, such as vintage clothes, antique jewelry or furniture, or first edition books; see NYC Stuff Exchange leaving NYCWasteLess.

Give entertainment, such as museum memberships; tickets to movies, theater, concerts, or sporting events; gift certificates to a favorite restaurant.

Give learning, such as language or music lessons; classes in cooking, photography, or other favorite hobbies.

Give your time or talent, such as baby-sitting, pet-sitting, computer help, or home repairs.

Give fitness, such as gym memberships, personal training sessions, or classes in yoga, pilates, or dance.

Give pampering, such as a massage, facial, manicure, or pedicure.

Give to the greater good by making a contribution to someone's favorite charity.

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gray can Reducing Waste Over the Holidays

Send email greetings rather than paper cards to cut down on paper waste.

Wrap gifts in reusable gift bags or create your own gift wrap using unwanted maps or comics. (If you do buy gift wrap and greeting cards, make sure they're made from recycled paper.)

Reduce food waste by planning meals ahead, building menus based on what's already on hand, making a grocery list (and sticking to it), and coming up with new ways to serve leftovers.

Use durable plastic ware designed for reuse rather than purchasing new cups and plates for each event. Use washable, reusable sponges, dishcloths, and napkins. If you use disposable paper goods, choose products made with recycled content.

Rent or borrow party supplies such as tables, linens, and dinnerware rather than purchasing your own.

Send your old holiday lights for recycling to get a coupon for energy efficient LED holiday lights.

And don't forget, others may want the stuff you no longer need. There are many local charitable organizations interested in receiving your gently used clothing, furniture, books, and electronic goods. For more info, see reuse it NYC.

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green recycling bin with gift wrapRecycling During the Holidays

Keep in mind that you can recycle much of the paper generated during the holidays.

Recycle your holiday cards and promotional mail. This time of year, we get inundated with mail and catalogs. When you're done with these, recycle them with your mixed paper and cardboard. Do this year round with all unwanted mail!

Recycle paper gift wrap and cardboard boxes. Paper gift wrap and cardboard tubes are recyclable. So are the cardboard boxes that contain your presents. Recycle these along with your other mixed paper and cardboard.

blue can with recyclablesYou can also recycle many of the beverage containers that hold your favorite holiday drinks, such as wine and beer bottles and the carton that holds your eggnog. Recycle these along with other designated metal, glass, and plastic recyclables.

See how to recycle your Christmas tree.

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