It’s estimated that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, more than 1 million tons of additional waste is generated each week nationwide – and that doesn’t even take into account all the waste and resources used upstream to make all that new stuff we’re buying.

Here’s a list of ideas to help reduce waste:

Send eCards or recycled-content cards

Recycle paper cards and send electronic holiday cards to reduce paper waste.

Give the gift of togetherness

Consider making a charitable donation in someone else’s name. Or, give an experience or an event to remember, such as: Tickets to a concert or sporting event or memberships to a museum or zoo.

Take reusable cloth bags on shopping trips

Thousands of bags end up in our landfills during the holidays. Reduce the number of bags by bringing reusable shopping bags for holiday gift shopping.

Use earth-friendly gift wrapping alternatives

Try the following instead of traditional wrapping paper:

Scarves, handkerchiefs and bandannas, old posters and maps, newspapers (the comic sections works great), etc.

Use rechargeable batteries

About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.

Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day

This saves energy and lights last longer.


Remember to recycle your old electronics at Deschutes Recycling, located at Knott Landfill in Bend. TVs, computers, monitors, desktop printers, keyboards and mice can be recycled for free.  Other electronics can be recycled for a nominal fee.

Recycle your live Christmas tree

Bring yours to Deschutes Recycling at no charge or have The Boy Scouts pick it up and make a donation. City customers with curbside yard debris service can recycle Christmas trees in their yard debris cart.  Cut the tree down to smaller pieces to fit in the yard debris cart.

For more ideas on how to reduce your waste over the holidays, visit