Holiday Cards have short life span, and often end up in the garbage bin. Go paperless, and your friends and family can keep that memory long after the holidays are over. There are many online vendors that provide elegant, customizable paperless options for the holidays and any occasion.
Choose cards that are not glittery or those that light up or sing. Glitter flecks are made of small pieces of plastics (microplastics) that pollute waterways, and the batteries that power these cards must be removed and recycled separately at an appropriate battery collection site, as they can explode if placed in curbside bins with other items. Cards with glitter cannot be recycled and must be placed in the garbage.
Consider using a living, potted plant or tree instead of one from a tree farm. If you are able to cut your unflocked, real tree to fit inside your curbside green bin, the local haulers will accept it for compost. Otherwise, please call the Christmas Tree hotline at 707-565-3333 for home pickup by local non-profits ($7-10 donation suggested).
Artificial trees are also a good alternative, as they can be reused each year – especially if you don’t have easy access to a curbside yard waste bin so that a real tree can be composted. If you can get an artificial tree secondhand, and use it for 10 years+, then you will have offset the carbon emissions from its production. Or if you’re looking to save some space, you can make a tree using sticks and twine like this one or even wine corks.
When it comes to decorating zero waste style, it’s all about using things you already have, can acquire second hand, or easily find in nature. Some ideas for a natural look include pinecones and tree branches, garland made from red fallen leaves, cinnamon sticks, and foliage which can be reused each year or composted. Try not to get sucked into buying new trinkets you truly don’t need – it will save you the agony of packing up additional décor at the end of the holiday season.
When it comes to ornaments, choose ones that you will enjoy displaying year after year. Switch to LED string lights for your home and tree if possible. Old holiday lights cannot be recycled in the blue curbside recycling carts, but may be recycled through our e-waste recycling
programs at each county transfer station and e-waste events.