Recycling Tips for “Keeping the Holidays Green”

By Bonita Davis, Master Recycler and SE Resident

Who doesn’t love a present?  A special gift, concealed behind wrapping and ribbons only adds to the excitement of gift-giving and celebration. This season, how do we maintain the specialness of gifting without adding to our waste and recycling burden? Here are a few ideas. 

Give one thoughtful gift instead of multiples. 

Revise how wrapping paper, ribbons and even small boxes are viewed. Consider them as reusable items and store for later use. 

Choose mailers not bubble wrap lined. Mailers with this built-in cushion are not recyclable because of the combination of materials. 

Shop in time to use the normal delivery option. Same-day and rush orders break the algorithm that allows delivery systems to operate with maximum efficiency. 

Bring along your own shopping tote and travel mug when shopping and decline extra wrapping tissue, gift boxes and bags if you don’t need them. 

Revise what you think is recyclable at 

Give the gift of an event, activity or experience. How about tickets to the movies, a play or a concert? 

Consider giving a Chinook Book, containing hundreds of coupons for local businesses, events and fun stuff. 

Want to support great causes? Visit for great ideas. 

Plan a party with a purpose. Request guests bring a non-perishable to your holiday gathering to go to a food pantry or a warm item of clothing for a shelter program in the area. 

Give the gift of time. Adopt a family for a holiday meal, visit a nursing home, volunteer for a neighborhood clean-up or take on a public area in your neighborhood that could use some TLC. 

Check out great opportunities at or handsonportland for ways to give your energy, time and talent during the holidays. 

Give the gift of a repair; one you can do or can help finance. One of my very favorite gifts was from my dad who refurbished the tooled leather handbag he made for my mother before they were married. Priceless. 

Best yet, unplug and give someone your undivided attention to anybody, including your pet. Reach out to reconnect with someone who’s been out of touch. Best gift of all!

Happy holidays!

Recycling Tips for “Keeping the Holidays Green”

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