Reduce, reuse and recycle during the holiday season

Gift with christmas tree and candy isolated on white background

CLARK COUNTY — During the holidays, Americans will generate about one million extra tons of garbage each week. This waste is often gift packaging, wrapping paper and leftover food.

Fortunately, you can reduce, reuse and recycle during the holiday season without cutting back on holiday cheer, according to Sally Fisher, environmental outreach specialist with Clark County Public Health.

Follow these tips if you dream of a green Christmas:

  • Take inventory of things you no longer use and donate old toys and clothing to a thrift store before you buy more. Even if the clothes can no longer be worn, thrift stores will generally sell them to textile recyclers.
  • Remember to bring reusable bags on your shopping trips.
  • Consider gift bags or baskets or a reusable bag, all of which can be used year after year, instead of wrapping paper.
  • Rechargeable batteries are a gift that keeps those holiday toys and gadgets running. They greatly reduce the number of batteries thrown into the landfill.
  • If Santa deemed you nice and left you a new flat-screen TV, tablet, smartphone or other electronic gadget, be sure to responsibly e-cycle your old technology. Many nonprofits will accept working cell phones and computers. Visit for more details.
  • Rather than mailing paper holiday cards, consider sending e-cards or an e-newsletter. Recycle paper cards you receive.
  • Food for thought: Thirteen percent of landfill waste is food and an estimated 36 million tons of food waste went to U.S. landfills in 2015. This holiday season, buy only what you need, share extra food and plan to use leftovers.

Colorful red gifts with Christmas balls isolated on white“Make your New Year’s resolution to practice the three Rs every day: Reduce, reuse and recycle,” Fisher said.

This information was provided by Clark County Public Health.


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