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Enjoying a Waste-Free Holiday
Tips and Resources for Minimizing Waste and Maximizing Recycling.
By Emily Newcomer

Waste-Free holiday wishes from everyone at UW Recycling & Solid Waste! This holiday season, being festive doesn’t have to mean being wasteful. Here are a few tips and some local resources to help you rethink your holiday season.

Green Gift Ideas
ornamentThere are several ways to think green when shopping this holiday season, from buying experiences rather than stuff, to making a donation in the name of someone else. Rather than piling up stuff under the tree just for the sake of it, think about what friends and family really want or need. Try giving gift certificates if you don’t know what someone wants, give homemade food or something else you’ve made yourself or, better yet, buy a gift from a local reuse or thrift store.

For more green gift-giving ideas, check out these Green Holiday videos from King County.

BYOB—Bring your Own Bag
It’s always a good practice, but especially during the nation’s busiest shopping season, bring your own reusable shopping bags. If you forget your bags at home, consolidate your purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store on your shopping rounds. Click here for more “tips on how to trim your holiday “wasteline.”gift

Party Planning
‘Tis the season for holiday meals and parties. To help keep waste at a minimum, buy items in bulk to help reduce packaging. For a large party, rent durable dishware or borrow from a friend, rather than using disposables. For more tips on how to green up your holiday event, visit King County’s green holidays website.

Compost Food Leftovers
Don’t throw away those holiday leftovers—compost them instead. In King County, Seattle, and at UW, all food waste, including meat, fish, dairy, and bones, can go in your compost bin. For more information about composting on campus, click here.

Compost your Holiday Greens
Holiday trees are compostable, too. Many cities offer curbside collection of holiday trees, or you can drop them off at your local transfer station. Check with your hauler, the transfer station or local city staff to verify collection dates, times or size restrictions. Don’t forget to remove all decorations—any leftover bits will not compost.

For more information on tree recycling in Seattle, click here.

For more information on tree recycling in other King County areas, click here.