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December 31st, 2009
Recycle Christmas

Thursday Thirteen

Christmas has been and the New Year is just over the horizon. Recently I read Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming’s Save which includes all sorts of tips to save money, time and the planet. I thought some of their tips relating to Christmas would make a good TT topic.

Thirteen Ways to Recycle Christmas

1. Strip the needles off a discarded pine Christmas tree and use them for garden mulch.

2. Turn the thin branches of the tree into a Christmas wreath for the following year. Cut the thin branches with secateurs to fit in a bucket and soak them in hot water for two hours. Weave the branches into a wreath for future use.

3. Use old Christmas cards for children’s craft projects.

4. Use old cards for decoupage.

5. Reuse old wrapping paper. Remove tape and fold ready for the next time.

6. Some charities collect old Christmas cards to recycle.

7. Cut shapes from old wrapping paper and stick them together to form new paper. You can also weave pieces together to make new paper.

8. Turn ribbons into bookmarks.

9. Spray pine cones with gold paint or sprinkle with glitter. Arranged in a pretty container they’ll make a good party decoration.

10. We always have pavlova for a Christmas dessert. It uses heaps of eggs. Egg shells are high in calcium. Crush them and mix with birdseed to feed the birds.

11. Take unwanted gifts back to exchange or donate them to a charity.

12. If your Christmas lights are past it, remove the wiring and use for tying things such as plants in the garden.

13. Use pictures from old greeting cards to decorate soaps. Cut out the image you like, dampen the surface of the soap with water and rub the picture on to it with your finger. Make sure you get some of the soap film over the top to help the picture stick. Allow to dry.

Do you have a Christmas recycling tip?

32 comments to “Recycle Christmas”

  1. Thanks for sharing. Care to see my T13?

  2. excellent list sandy

  3. What a kewl idea for soap. I’ll have to try it. Great tips. Happy New Year!

  4. These are all great ideas!

  5. Since we don’t do Christmas, I’ll have to use these ideas for other things (birthday wrapping paper, maybe?).

  6. We didn’t have a real tree and some of the unwanted gifts have ALREADY gone to the charity shop. shhh, don’t tell!

    I put my egg shells in the compost bin. Or at least i send my hubby out to do it since the compost bin is so smelly.

  7. Great tips.

    Like Zoe, we compost our egg shells (and lots of other things).

    We don’t strip off/mulch our tree. Instead, after we denude it of decoration, we put it in the “natural” area of our yard on its side to rot naturally. It provides cover and nesting material for birds as it goes. We have friends who have a fish pond – they chuck their tree in the fish pond as part of the fish habitat.

    We use scraps of wrapping paper as padding/stuffing for packages we ship, or we recycle it outright.

  8. I do save and re-use paper, cards, and bows. We do a neighborhood Yankee swap with all recycled gifts too.

  9. What a great list! Love the tips, Shelley. Happy New Year! *Hugs*

  10. Great tips, Shelly!

  11. I always forget about the things you can do with old Christmas cards! Great ideas, Shelley, thanks.

  12. Now if we could only recycle time…we could do all of this quite handily. You’ve some good ideas here.

  13. I wish you…

    love and luck and so much more on the auspicious occasion of NEW YEAR’S EVE and 2010.

    May all your resolutions and dreams come true!


  14. I love the Christmas light idea. What a great way to reuse them. The bulbs can be turned into crafts, too.

  15. Great list!

    Happy 2010 and happy TT!

  16. Nice list. I compost my eggshells and we’ve used old Christmas cards for craft projects at school. Happy New Year!

  17. Excellent ideas … many of which I’ve done for years. I’ve never heard of mixing eggshells with bird feed but it seems like a good idea. Thanks for sharing and may you and yours have a Joyous New Year!
    Hugs and blessings,

  18. Hope you had a wonderful holiday and have a happy new year! Have a great Thursday 13!
    Hope you enjoy my potentially offensive Thursday 13 this week!

  19. Love the tips. We have a fake tree so we can’t use the first two but no reason we can’t use the others.

  20. Great tips. Some I already do but most are new to me. My very-green son will love it when I try #1 and 12.

    A happy and healthy new year to you!

  21. Some very good ideas there!

  22. Adelle – I’ve done the soap one. You can also paint a thin coat of vanish over the picture so it doesn’t go funny in the water. That works quite well.

  23. Susan – you should have seen the mess after my niece and nephews finished with the wrapping paper. There wasn’t anything to recycle. And yes, of course, the recycling tips work with all types of paper.

    Personally, I think a roll of plain brown paper works. You can get kids to decorate the outside with artwork or use rubber stamps or just a pretty ribbon to personalize the gift.

  24. Elise – that’s a great idea for the tree. When we were on the farm we used to do that too.

    Zoe – I hear you about smelly compost bins. Some of them smell dreadful.

  25. Good ideas!
    Happy New Year to you :)

  26. We made mini christmas tree’s using pine cones, glitter, beads, paint and small terra cotta planters. They were so cute we saved them and put them out each year.

    I made a few bird feeders from the pine cones I didn’t use. I smeared peanut butter all over the pine cones and pressed bird seed all over them. Hung them from the tree’s outside and watched all the birds come and eat from them.

  27. What a great list! I like the idea of weaving wrapping paper out of older paper. I’m probably tear it too much to actually make it work, but I love the idea of it. I’ve been seeing painted pinecones everywhere, and I think they’re beautiful.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  28. I use gift bags from the dollar tree store, and reuse them the next year.

    Happy TT, and happy New Year.


  29. Wonderful ideas! I’m always looking for more ways to go green (even though I have an artificial tree, and will never use a real one). But I always love suggestions for the reuse of paper.

  30. What a fun idea! Recycle Christmas!!

    Happy New Year!

  31. I’ve got another one for you, one my dd discovered this Christmas. Use old wrapping paper for origami.

  32. I use a fake tree, so no tree to dispose of. I have used Christmas cards for art projects with kids before.