DIY Crafts Holiday Waste: What to Recycle, and What to Upcycle

Published on January 3rd, 2015 | by Julie Finn


Holiday Waste: What to Recycle, and What to Upcycle

Holiday Waste: What to Recycle, and What to Upcycle

Last year’s Christmas tree became tree blocks, checkers, and mulch.

It’s the new year, and it’s also time for the last of us to pack up our holiday decorations.

How much waste did you contribute to your local landfill this holiday season?

When you’re desperate to get the clean-up done, it’s easy to make bad decisions and just toss the lot, but if you can spare the time to be thoughtful, then there’s a lot of good that you can do with that holiday waste.

First, via our sister site Sustainablog, here’s a handy infographic of exactly what holiday waste you can recycle and, more importantly, what you can’t:

Holiday Waste: What to Recycle, and What to Upcycle

Now, to the fun stuff!

As you’re sorting through your stuff, making your tidy little piles of recycling, storage, and waste, keep an eye out for supplies that you can use to help you upcycle some of that holiday waste. Check out the following projects for ideas:

cave of starsThis epic playhouse uses the giant box that your biggest present came in and the twinkle lights that your kid is nowhere near tired of yet.

craft stashDoesn’t some of that holiday waste really belong with your crafting supplies?

gift tagsMake next year’s gift tags from this year’s greeting cards.

gourd bangleIs that decorative gourd still on the mantle? Take it down already and make it into some bracelets.

paintbrushGot some little ones who’ve been dying to get their hands on the Christmas tree? Cut off several branches and set the kids up to paint with these natural paintbrushes.

paper beadsWrapping paper and tissue paper make lovely paper beads.

tree blocksSlice up the trunk of your Christmas tree to make natural building blocks for the kids.

Holiday Waste: What to Recycle, and What to Upcycle

Kiddo decorates her homemade wooden checkers, made from the trunk of a Christmas tree.

wooden checkersMy kids and I made this set of checkers from the trunk of our Christmas tree one year.

wrapping paper craftsA handsomely-wrapped gift doesn’t have to burden your recycling bin!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

2 Responses to Holiday Waste: What to Recycle, and What to Upcycle

  1. Wooden checkers!!! Holy smokes! GENIUS!!! ok, i’M stealing the neighbors tree when I get home from work this afternoon. And I’m not joking!

  2. Pingback: Feelgood Style | Sustainable fashion reporting, organic beauty tips, DIY projects + tutorials, + natural product reviews.

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