Here’s Recycle Ann Arbor’s Guide to Reducing Your Vacation Waste


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – This is the most wonderful time of the year, and also the one with the most waste.

While this is the holiday season, it is also the extra waste season. Fortunately, Recycle Ann Arbor has put together a guide to help you have a zero waste holiday.

Check out some highlights below.

How to start:

  • Instead of buying from big box stores, support local artisans or purchase gift cards from businesses in the Ann Arbor area.

  • Craft or buy consumable gifts, or reuse materials you already have to craft something by hand (remember, it’s not the gift, it’s the idea that matters!)

  • Buy experiential gifts, like movie tickets or dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Donate to a cause that your friend or family member supports.

  • Make a list of the items you need and where to buy them (and use the lists given to you.)

Are you afraid of waste?

  • Wrap gifts in newspaper, scrap paper, or reusable tissue. People who want a little more style can use fabric ribbons or twine.

  • If you must use paper, purchase it from a thrift store or reuse previously used undamaged wrapping paper. Be sure to recycle any non-metallic paper or paper gift bags that you cannot reuse.

  • Reuse cardboard boxes for storage, crafts, or other gifts. Flattened cardboard can be recycled in Ann Arbor, but must be placed in recycling carts with closed lids.

  • Send electronic greeting cards or re-value cards already in use. Don’t forget to recycle greeting cards and envelopes.

Accommodation? Recycle Ann Arbor also takes care of you:

  • Plan your meals and make a shopping list that you can stick to. Be sure to check your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to avoid buying extras.

  • Prepare creative dishes using leftovers or turning leftovers into broths. Compost foods that have started to spoil.

  • Donate unopened, non-perishable food to charities, such as Food Gatherers.

  • Use reusable napkins, cutlery, cups, plates and bowls to minimize waste and waste.

Tackle the tree:

  • Use timers and LED lights to save energy and recycle broken string lights at the Recycle Ann Arbor drop-off station.

  • If you need an artificial Christmas tree, buy one you like from a local thrift store. If you dispose of it, donate it or throw it away at the Recycle Ann Arbor drop-off station.

  • Once your living tree becomes slumped, leave it at one of the four Christmas tree drop-off points in town. The trees will be turned into compost or mulch, the city said.

Check out the full list of Recycle Ann Arbor Holiday Zero Waste tips and guide here.


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