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Don’t be a Grinch: Keep Christmas Leftovers from Getting Dumped

Que the voice of Boris Karloff…

It was quarter past dawn…
All the Whos, still a-bed,
All the Whos, still a-snooze
When he packed up his sled,
Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!

When the Grinch stole Christmas, he not only stole the presents, he stole all the things that accompany Christmas that end up as waste. HeΒ  stole the ribbons, the wrappings, the tags, the tinsel, the trimmings, the trappings plus the Christmas trees and the food for the feast.

And what was the Grinch going to do with all that stuff he really didn’t want?

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!

Pretty much the same thing most of us have done in the past with all our Christmas leftovers, right? We dumped them. Not off the side of Mt. Crumpit, but in the trash.

This year, when we’ve got things leftover from Christmas, let’s be responsible with their disposal.

The Ribbons, The Wrappings, The Tags, The Tinsel, The Trimmings, The Trappings

  • Have a bag ready to put wrapping paper in to recycle.
  • Break down clothing boxes immediately and put away to use again. I usually break them down Christmas morning, put them under some heavy books to help flatten them good, then take them down the basement.
  • Save gift bags to be reused next year.
  • You know those absolutely horrid, annoying, somebody must really hate parents twisty ties that come on so many toys. The ones that make parents spew foul words out of their mouth on Jesus’ birthday while their children impatiently wait one hour for a Barbie to be extricated from its packaging. They make fabulous tomato plant ties. Save them and use them to attach tomato plants or other plants to steaks.
  • Packing and shipping materials from all that online shopping should be saved to be reused. If you have so much that you can never reuse it all, give it away on freecycle. There’s some avid ebay-er who will be happy to take it off your hands.

The Christmas Trees

Real Christmas trees should be kept out of landfills after their time in your home is done. They make great mulch, and many towns now have curbside pick up for trees after the holidays. If your community doesn’t pick trees up, you can find a place nearby by going to Earth911.

Artificial trees should also be kept out of landfills if possible. If you are getting rid of your artificial tree and it is still in usable shape, donate it, do not throw it in the trash. They are not biodegradable and the toxins in the plastic leach into the soil in the landfill.

The Food for the Feast

It’s estimated that Americans waste about 30% of their food. I can imagine that during the holidays, that percentage gets a little higher. Our celebrations always come with lots of food. I found this advice for reducing food waste on CVS.com.

  • Reduce the volume of food waste you generate β€” buy and prepare only what you will sell or use.
  • Give to those in need by donating your extra food to food banks, soup kitchens, and shelters or other charities.
  • Feed animals by sending food scraps to accepting farms.
  • Donate waste oils and food scraps to industrial companies who convert them into new products, such as cosmetics, pet food, fuel, and energy.
  • Compost food scraps and yard trimmings.
  • Discard any remaining scraps as a last resort.

One thing this advice doesn’t mention is to eat your leftover food. Freeze larger portions for future meals and turn leftovers into new meals before they go bad.

We all know that at the end of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch doesn’t dump everything over the side of Mt. Crumpit. So perhaps this post should be titled, “Be a Grinch…” Either way, we need to make sure that all the trappings of Christmas don’t end up trapped in a landfill.

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