Think Before You Shop. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle During Holidays

By: Julie Hoffman, Environmental Planning Program Manager at Maricopa Association of Governments

As we approach the holiday season, we find ourselves faced with recycling dilemmas.  Can I recycle that greeting card, wrapping paper, and cardboard?  To help address some of these common questions, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), in cooperation with its Solid Waste Advisory Committee and the Valleywide Recycling Partnership, produced a series of short, fast-paced videos to encourage residents to “Think Before You Shop” and give tips for how to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” during the holiday season.  The videos were completed last year and are designed to get people thinking about ways to reduce the amount of trash generated as they plan their holiday activities.  Cities and towns receive more calls with questions on recycling during the holidays season than any other time of year.  The videos address questions residents have on reducing trash and opportunities for recycling during the holidays.

The videos can be accessed through this link.  In addition, links to the six 30-second holiday recycling videos are provided below.


Disposable Dinnerware Instead of paper plates, use real dinnerware to save on holiday trash.

Gift Wrap – Since wrapping paper is not always recyclable, choose a fun alternative.

Greeting CardsCut cards in half and reuse as a postcard or gift tag.

Foam PackingDon’t use foam packing peanuts. Instead use crumpled newspaper.

Cardboard Recycle cardboard, which, along with paper, makes up 40 percent of landfill trash.

Plastic BagsWhen shopping this holiday season, bring your own reusable bags.