Make "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" Your Holiday Mantra!

The holiday season is one of the most disposal-intensive times of the year, with Californians producing 25% more waste than average. Give a gift to the Earth by following these simple tips on how to celebrate the holidays with reduce, reuse and recycle in mind.

Before You Buy:

  • Give something with a personal touch by making your own gifts, rather than buying something mass-produced.
  • Regift: it's the gift that keeps giving!
  • Spread the word about environmentalism by donating to an environmental organization, such as CAW, in someone's name.

If You Buy:

  • Consumers should always cast eco "votes" with their dollars.
  • Don't buy products that contain toxic materials or that can't be recycled or safely disposed of.
  • Don't buy products that come in toxic, non-recyclable packaging.
  • Avoid buying gifts with batteries.
  • Buy gifts that use recycled content.
  • Remember to bring your reusable bags to the store.


  • Resist the temptation to buy lots of shiny new wrapping paper.
  • Instead, if you have to wrap gifts, use newspapers, like the Sunday funnies.
  • Try to avoid non-recyclable "frills" like bows and excess tape.

Fake Trees, Real Trees and Holiday Lights:

  • Fake trees are often made from toxic PVC, may contain lead and have to be landfilled.
  • While the real holiday tree industry has its own environmental issues, make sure to recycle the dead tree when you're done with it if you decide to go that route.
  • The best solution: give a potted tree a brief (4-7 day) indoor holiday before being planted in your backyard.
  • If you want a sparkly tree, consider using energy-saving LED lights.