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Green Holiday Suggestions

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling Opportunities

Christmas and other holidays are typically huge, waste-generating times for everyone. However, with a little forethought they don’t have to be. Buying gifts and packaging with our earth in mind can be very easy and will alert others to your commitment to preserving our natural resources. Here are a few simple ideas to reduce your waste load and limit the amount of trash that goes to the landfill.

  • Reduce the gift wrapping load by giving gifts of entertainment such as movie or theater tickets or gift cards to restaurants.

  • Try to limit the amount of packaging gifts are wrapped in. Ask yourself “Does this gift really need a box?” Consider using gift bags or a beautiful fabric ribbon instead. They can be reused for years!

  • Christmas cards can be reused in a variety of ways, instead of being thrown away. The front can be used as a postcard to send to friends throughout the year. Or they can be used to decorate your house next year!

  • Be sure to compost food scraps from holiday meals, especially the traditionally unwanted fruit cake. Did you know a 1 year old fruitcake can still be composted?

  • Reuse all the packaging materials that you can, for example line a dresser drawer with wrap paper.

  • Buy gifts from recycled materials for your family. You will help to close the recycling loop and demonstrate to your loved ones your commitment to saving our precious natural resources.

  • Be sure to recycle your gift wrap and all cardboard packaging from gift giving.

  • Be sure to recycle your Christmas Tree! It can be ground up into valuable mulch used for ground cover or made into compost to enrich soil.

For more information on a green holiday season, visit the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) website at or call 916-341-6500.

Waste Guide

This information above is offered as a public service in an effort to eliminate illegal and improper waste disposal. As the information may not be comprehensive, the Department encourages the public to research additional companies that are available for the services sought. The companies are not affiliated, endorsed or regulated by the Department. Accordingly, as with any professional service, please confirm the accuracy of the company’s information and request copies or verification of the company's license and/or permits to provide the service, prior to utilizing its services. Under no circumstances, directly or indirectly, shall the Department be held responsible or liable for reliance on this information.  If you would like to include your company on the list, please contact or call (951) 486-3200.