More Joy, Less Waste This Holiday Season

From Denver Recycles

American household waste increases more than 23% during the holiday season—but we can change that. Keep waste prevention in mind as we move into this festive time of year: Make memories, not waste. Give experiences like an online class, virtual escape room, festive tea party, or a cozy movie day on the couch with homemade treats. If you do buy a gift, look for items that you can buy locally, are gently used, have minimal packaging, and are made to last. 

Get creative with reused and recyclable gift wrap. Wrapping paper’s soft, short fibers make it too week to recycle. Denver Recycles does not accept ANY wrapping paper. Instead, wrap gifts in old maps or brown paper bags, magazine pages, and newspaper – all of which can all be recycled. Or try repurposed fabrics, tea towels, or paper gift bags that can be saved and used to wrap gifts again next year. Skip plastic bows and ribbons, and choose natural decorations like small twigs and pinecones to top your gift or fabric bows that can be reused. For ideas on how to wrap using fabrics, check out the Japanese art of furoshiki, which uses just a few simple folds and a knot.  

Compost food waste and napkins. When it comes to food waste, Less is More. Where food waste isn’t prevented, Denver Composts can help by keeping food, bones, dairy, vegetable scraps, paper napkins, and paper towels out of the landfill and turning them into a useful soil amendment known as compost. After you make a delicious broth from your turkey carcass, remember to place it in your green cart with the rest of your carrot tops and potato peels.

Maximize recycling by recycling right. Most holiday food packaging, such empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs, are recyclable in your purple cart. The same is true for plain holiday cards. Plastic bags, wrapping paper, glittery cards, photo paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, old toys, and tissue paper are NOT accepted in your purple cart and should be avoided, reused, or placed in the trash. The holidays can also mean more recyclables to manage. Break down and flatten boxes to save rom in your purple cart.

Participate in seasonal programs offered by Denver Recycles. Bring  unwanted holiday lights to our Cherry Creek Recycle Drop-Off during our Recycle Your Holiday Lights program. And, don’t forget to participate in Treecycle after the holidays! Pledge to make less holiday waste. Visit to learn more about reducing waste and commit to taking action to reduce your waste this holiday season