You survived another Christmas! The family is stuffed with turkey and cookies, the presents are unwrapped, and the Trash Bag Snowmen are hitchhiking by the mailbox. You’re almost to the finish line-- just a few more holiday chores are left to complete.

Santa doesn’t send his elves to clean up homes after the holidays. For some reason, only the sock-stealing elves have visiting rights. So it’s all up to you! Cleaning up doesn’t usually stir up a feel-good moment, but it just might when you know your efforts are eco-friendly. First off, let’s tackle the (stuffed) elephant in the room. There are new toys and electronics everywhere! Perhaps you’re shuffling paper and boxes from room to room, looking for creative new storage. That’s one way to do it. But the good news is that most packaging can be recycled.

Recycle Wrapping Paper & Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes can be recycled if broken down and flattened. You must remove all paper and packing material. The cardboard boxes must be placed inside the recycling bin to be recycled. It’s important that it isn’t mixed with the regular garbage. After all that care & tear, you’ll definitely want to know your boxes were recycled as intended.

These items cannot be recycled:

  • Ribbons & Bows
  • Foiled, glittered, or flocked wrapping paper
  • Tissue paper (although you can probably reuse this by simply flattening and storing it)

Special Recycling

If you have other items to recycle—say old batteries and light bulbs—learn more about recycling by mail. Reducing E-Waste has a hugely positive effect on the environment. When used computers and electronics are thrown away and sent to landfills, the toxic components are not properly disposed.

Don’t Invite Theft

Don’t discard packages for expensive items, like big screen TVs and new gaming systems, in plain sight outside your home. It’s a big advertisement that says “Good stuff to steal inside.” It’s a better idea to take these to public recycling areas.