‘Tis the Season to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

The holidays are a special time full of family, food, traditions and, unfortunately, waste. Lots of waste!  The U.S. E.P.A. estimates that American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That’s more one million tons of extra waste! Help make waste reduction part of your family’s holiday traditions by reducing, reusing and recycling.  Here are a few ideas of simple things to get you started: 


  • Buy Experiences, Not Things. After all, experiences are more memorable and can be shared by many!
  • Try to Ignore the Urge to Buy New. “New” is so last year. In many cases, a hand-me-down gift can be more meaningful than something new. If you haven’t used something in years, maybe someone else you know would appreciate it even more.


  • Wrap Creatively. Old maps, newspapers and posters can make great wrapping paper. Shoe boxes and old boxes from the office can also reduce the need to purchase new packaging material. 
  • Use Reusable Bags. Remember to bring reusable shopping bags as you shop for groceries and gifts this season. Or, consider using a reusable bag as a gift bag rather than a paper bag that will just get tossed after a gift is opened.


  • Remember the Recycling Basics. Most holiday food packaging such empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs are recyclable in Denver’s purple carts. Get to know Denver Recycles’ guidelines and plan to buy products with recyclable packaging.
  • Buy Recycled! Purchasing items made from recycled content helps to “close the loop” and fuel the recycling economy. Look for labels on greeting cards and other products that are clearly labeled as containing “post-consumer” recycled content.

For additional waste reduction ideas and information related to Denver’s recycling guidelines and programs, visit DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles or call 311 (720-913-1311).

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