As Julie Andrews sings in the Sound of Music, “bright paper packages, tied up with string,” may soon be among your favorite things as you exchange gifts with friends and family. Everyone loves a pretty present, but what to do with the paper and ribbons if you are trying to follow those important Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle?
First, try to wrap your gifts with paper recycled from last year’s holiday gifts or use reusable materials like dish towels or newspaper and decorate with fresh greens or used ribbon.
If you do receive gifts wrapped in paper, take your time opening them so the wrapping paper, boxes, bags, bows, and tissue paper can be folded and stored for next year. If you’re careful, this should provide most of next year’s supply.
Any boxes beyond reuse can be broken down and recycled. Be sure to remove tissue, plastic bags, and other packing material. Wrapping paper and holiday cards are also recyclable, as long as they are not metallic or metal-flecked.
Unusable ribbons or bows, however, go into the trash. Bags not suitable for gifts can be turned into storage for your extra bows or tissue paper. Hope your holiday “wraps up” in a spectacular way!
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