Christmas is going to be pretty big this year. How big? Well, according to the National Retail Federation during just the Black Friday weekend, Americans shelled out an average of $257.33 solely on Christmas gifts. As a whole, it's estimated that Americans will spend between $727.9 and $730.7 billion on gifts this Christmas season.

Between now and New Year’s Day, the EPA says that we will out 25 percent more trash than we do all other times of the year, thanks to wrapping paper, packaging peanuts, pine needles, and more.

If you're looking for a way to not only reduce waste but also help keep our community clean, the answer is as simple as recycling and it's really not as difficult to do as you might think.

  • 1

    Recycle Packaging Peanuts

    There's a UPS store on the Vestal Parkway and if you've got a bunch of packing peanuts, it can't hurt to call and ask if they'd be interested in re-using them. If they aren't, reach out to Pack and Mail on Upper Front Street to see if they are.

  • 2

    Reuse

    This is totally something that we used to do in my family, and you probably did, too. If the wrapping paper was removed carefully, we'd reuse it. You can also reuse bows and tissue paper if it's not too crinkled...unless of course, you're going for the crinkled look.

  • 3

    Recycle Christmas Cards

    One of my most favorite Christmastime projects is to pull out the Christmas cards I saved from the year before and cut them up to make them into pretty gift tags.

  • 4

    Recycle Your Christmas Tree

    You can either put your tree through a chipper and use the mulch around your yard, or you can drop it off at one of the local town's tree drop locations and they'll chip it and use it for mulch.