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Tips on how to wrap your presents with things you already have, saving you cash!

Posted at 3:57 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 17:57:02-05

You might be spending a lot on gifts this holiday season, and you may dish out even more wrapping them! A recent article shared that Hallmark estimates people across the United States will spend around $3.2 billion on things like wrapping paper, wrapping tissue, ribbons, gift bags, gift boxes and more. If you DON'T want to be part of that statistic, here are some recyclable tips that will also help your wallet!

We caught up with Alberto Guardado, General Manager of Republic Services. He told us to reuse things we have already! For example, keep the boxes that have been delivered to your doorstep as a previous gift. Use that or even a reusable bag that many take to the grocery store. This way, your gift recipient can use it over and over again.

Guardado shared that there's a misconception. Styrofoam peanuts, foam and even bubble wrap can be recycled, right? WRONG! They actually cannot be recycled.

He jokingly said "Aspirational Recyclers" believe they're doing the right thing tossing items in the blue bin. But, if you aren't sure, do research or just toss it in the trash. Otherwise, you've turned every soiled item in the recycling bin into trash.

Try water bottles as "stuffers" to protect your items in boxes or bags. He also suggested newspaper as the tissue paper! Who knows, maybe you'll find a great article that fits the gift you're giving. You can also shred old magazines and scrap paper.

Guardado wants to remind you that after you open gifts, remember to recycle the wrapping paper, even the shiny stuff, but save, repurpose and reuse the ribbons and bows. It's good on the environment and on your wallet.

Be careful though! Some fancy bags that have a metallic finish cannot be recycled!

We were told that an old phone or tablet cannot be recycled. Check with your local service provider on any special instructions or electronics recycling options.

Tips to remember:

  • Paper cups, plastic lids, paper sleeves, jars, and more should be empty, clean and dry before tossing them into the recycling container. Click here to see a full recycling guide.
  • You can save paper (both cash and other paper) by creating email holiday cards online.
  • This one is obvious, but in case you need a reminder. Don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. Stick to your grocery list, so you don't waste food.

Look around your home. What are items you can use to wrap your gifts? Paper towels, toilet paper, a paper grocery bag, and lots of other crafty ideas come to mind! Challenge yourself this holiday season!

Guardado shared that roughly 80 percent of what is thrown away during the holidays can be recycled or re-purposed, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Click here to see some more of the 2018 holiday tips.

If you're not sure how to recycle, here are the steps you need to know! According to Republic Services, Americans generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Click here for more holiday-specific recycling tips.

We hope these tips help your wallet!