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Community of Reuse

Posted Monday, December 14, 2020
— Reduce & Reuse

Photo of LaNell's old Christmas card box.

Last Friday the Addison County Solid Waste Management District posted on Facebook and Front Porch Forum ways we are reducing our waste during the holidays while still giving gifts and merrily decorating our homes. In response we received suggestions and tips from Addison County community members. Below are unique examples of out-of-the-box thinking we want to share with others.

1) Holly is swapping glittery and multi-layered wrapping paper for a recyclable alternative that kids can decorate.  

“I purchased a roll of plain brown paper, a lighter weight than a brown paper bag.  Skip the shiny wrapping paper (some of which can't be recycled) and use paper that can be recycled.  Let children decorate it with shaped sponge paintings - stars, moons, holiday trees, handprints, etc. or decorate with fresh greens: holly, evergreens.” ~ Holly

2) Marita is wrapping gifts in reusable packaging. 

“When I do give physical gifts, I wrap them in new fun dish towels or fabric that can be used for projects” ~ Marita

3) Laurie is turning a single-use garland into a renewable tradition.

“I do use tinsel, but I have had the same bag for over 45 years.  I put it on one by one, then remove it all for the next year!  It has become a tradition, a ritual of awareness.” ~ Laurie

4) Donna is forgoing physical gifts and practicing the act of giving through meaningful support.

“A loving way to reduce holiday waste is to give to charity in honor of the person the gift is for.” ~ Donna

5) Karlene is using personalized notes to offer her support for causes instead of giving physical gifts.  

“I sent letters to family and friends that I usually give gifts to… I offered to send a donation to the charity or agency of their choice in lieu of a Christmas gift.” ~ Karlene

6) LaNell transforms old holiday cards into giftboxes.

“Take an old or a leftover Christmas card from last year and recycle into a gift box for a small item like jewelry." ~ LaNell

7) Teri adds humor to the exterior of her gifts with this resource tip.

“I used to wrap presents made from the comics in old newspapers” ~ Teri

Thank you everyone for sharing! These are great ways to have a positive impact on the environment and reduce waste over the holidays. We hope everyone can find some inspiration from your fellow community members during the holidays. ACSWMD staff and our AmeriCorps Service Member certainly will! Send more zero waste suggestions to Colin@