The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will fork out $586.1 billion for gifts during the months of November and December this year. And with all those gifts come a lot of waste.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day alone, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an extra million tons of waste are generated nationwide each week.
“After the holidays, houses are littered with piles of crumbled wrapping paper, holiday cards, pine needles and boxes of packaging peanuts,” said Jeanette Kjosa, The UPS Store franchise owner. “An easy way for individuals to do their part in keeping their community clean is by recycling.”
Kjosa offers the following tips to make your holiday a little greener:
• Recycle packaging peanuts. Many of The UPS Store locations accept clean foam packaging peanuts of all sizes, shapes and colors for reuse. You can bring your packaging peanuts to either one of Kjosa's Riverview locations. For additional information on peanut recycling, consumers can visit www.loosefillpackaging.com.
• Reuse wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, tissue paper, etc. Also, save gift boxes and bags and reuse them throughout the year. Recycle those you can’t reuse.
• Recycle greeting cards. Save cards and cut them up to use as gift tags next year. They also make a great resource for children’s art projects, or you can research organizations in your area that could use your collection of used greeting cards.
• Recycle your tree. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees sold in North America each year. After the holidays, put your tree to good use – chip it up to use as mulch around shrubs and flowerbeds, or, if you have a live tree, plant it in the yard or donate it to a local school or nursing home to plant on their grounds. You can also check with Hillsborough County for instructions on recycling options, drop-off locations or pick-up dates.
Use these tips to simplify your post-holiday cleanup so you can begin the New Year with a clean house (and a green conscience).
The UPS Store Riverview locations are:
11705 Boyette Rd., (corner of Boyette and McMullen roads), 813-672-9483
13194 U.S. 301 S., (corner of U.S. 301 South and Big Bend Road), 813-741-1140.
The stores are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.theupsstore.com.