CalRecycle offers tips on how to reduce holiday waste

SACRAMENTO--The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) made several suggestions to reduce waste.

Increased buying leads to as much as one million extra tons of solid waste generated nationally each week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the state agency said in a news release. CalRecycle’s Green Holidays page offers practical ideas and online resources to keep waste down.

“The holidays are an exciting time but many consumers don’t realize how much waste is generated with wrapping, ribbons, and boxes,” said CalRecycle Director Margo Reid Brown. “CalRecycle encourages Californians to remember the importance of reducing waste while celebrating with loved ones.”

Tips include sending cyber-cards rather than disposable greeting cards. An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold in the United States each year, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Find online card sites on our list of ideas for making the holidays the “greenest ever."

About 24 billion plastic bags end up in California’s landfills every year—and many of the bags that don’t make their way to a landfill become ocean debris or litter. This holiday season, choose reusable shopping bags rather than paper or plastic at the cash register. An attractive reusable bag can also double as a better alternative to a disposable gift bag.

Buying new electronics and cell phones? Be sure to dispose of those old electronics safely by dropping them off at a certified electronics collector or recycler. The Green Holidays page provides links to find a collection center in communities across the state, as well as information on how to properly dispose of single-use batteries. Better yet, consider buying rechargeable batteries that can be used again and again.

Finally, if you’re going over the river and through the woods for a family celebration, make sure you’re driving on properly inflated tires with adequate tread depth. Proper tire inflation improves gas mileage and reduces fuel consumption, which means more money in your pocket and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

CalRecycle is the state's leading authority on recycling, waste reduction, and product reuse. CalRecycle plays an important role in the stewardship of California's vast resources and promotes innovation in technology to encourage economic and environmental sustainability. For more information, visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov.