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Reduce Your Waste this Holiday Season!

By Dec 01, 2023 - Reduce & Reuse

We all know that a lot of waste is created during the holiday season. From excess food waste, broken string lights, new toys replacing old ones, and the need for batteries to power said toys, waste can add up. However, there are so many ways that we can prevent and reduce waste without impacting joyful traditions.

Here are a few classic waste reduction tips from the Resource Recovery and Waste Management team to remember this holiday:

  • Food Waste: Food waste is a hot topic these days. Food scraps and other organics that go into the landfill cause the production of methane gas, a greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide. Help prevent food waste from going into the landfill by...
  • Electronic Waste (E-Waste): As we mentioned, the holidays are a time where a lot of folks update or replace old electronics. Make sure your old devices get disposed of properly! Remember, Electronics should never go in your trash or recycling cart! There are many, many free e-waste drop-off locations throughout the county. You can view them by checking out our e-waste page. Don't forget about the...
  • Batteries: Batteries are another hot commodity of the holidays. Batteries can explode or cause fires when improperly handled. Like e-waste, they should never go into your trash or recycling cart. Batterie can be recycled for free at many locations or be collected at your home for free! Learn more about curbside battery collection and general battery recycling here.
  • Christmas Trees: Did you know we can recycle these into mulch to be used locally? We sure can! Check out our Christmas Tree Recycling page for information on free tree drop-off sites and curbside collection.
  • Wrapping Paper: Wrapping paper that has no glitter, glossy coating, other ornaments, or is otherwise spoiled, and is simply clean paper can be composted in your backyard system or in your local composting curbside collection system. Wrapping paper with plastic attachments or glitter should be landfilled.
    • Reduce your wrapping paper waste in the first place! Try to wrap your gifts in fabric scraps, get creative with newspaper clippings, or in reusable totes or textiles, like scarves! Local thrift stores are a great place to look for used textiles.
  • Gifts: Try to shop second hand or give the gift of experiences. If there is a special or unique item that you are shopping for, look out for a used version at local thrift stores or at online retailers like E-Bay, Poshmark or ThreadUp.

So many of the tips and topics we cover on Less Is More also apply to the holidays. Use our nifty search bar above to find information about specific items. You can also contact us with questions or to suggest your favorite waste reduction tip surrounding the holidays.

The County also has so many other resources to introduce sustainable practices in your life. Less Is More is featured in this year's "6 Holiday Actions" from Climate Resilient SBC. Click through to see the actions you can take in the holiday season and beyond. If you haven't seen it already, the site is full of ways to make simple changes in your own life that lead to a more resilient community and a healthier planet.

The Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division of Santa Barbara County Public Works

wishes everyone a safe and cheerful holiday season.

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