Reduce, reuse, recycle your Christmas

[attach]3255[/attach]When it comes to waste reduction we’ve long been told to follow the three Rs — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. In that spirit, here are ways you can deal with your holiday waste in an eco-friendly manner — and remember the tips all year long.

Wrapping paper:

Reduce: Give your gifts in reusable bags that can be re-gifted for any occasion. Wrap gifts in wrapping paper made from recycled materials.

Reuse: When unwrapping gifts carefully cut the present open along the seams so the paper can be saved for another occasion.

Recycle: Most paper can go into the blue box, but metallic, glittery or waxy plastic-based wrapping paper must be thrown out.

Ribbons and bows:

Reduce: Be creative when decorating gifts. If you want to beautify things you can add a Christmas tree ornament to the outside of the packaging rather than using ribbons or bows.

Reuse: If you receive a gift with a ribbon or bow try and keep it in good condition so you can use it in the future.

Recycle: Most ribbons and bows are not recyclable, but there are compostable alternatives.

Greeting cards:

Reduce: Consider sending electronic cards or sending smaller sized cards.

Reuse: Cut out the pictures from the front of the cards and use them as decorations or to make Christmas crafts.

Recycle: Metallic, glittery or waxy plastic-based cards must be put in the garbage, but all other cards can be recycled. Some cards have wildflower seeds embedded in the paper, which can be planted in the spring.

Christmas trees:

Reduce: Purchase either an artificial tree that can be used year after year or a small live tree that can spend the summer outdoors.

Reuse: See Reduce.

Recycle: The city will pick up undecorated and unbagged trees and compost, or turn them into wood chips.