Did you know that waste produced during the holidays is about 25% higher than during the rest of the year? The dramatic increase in waste production makes sense considering the wrapping paper, old ornaments, place settings, holiday cards, and more–but the statistic is still shocking.

Despite the satisfaction of your recycling bin full of wrapping paper, ribbons, and boxes on Christmas morning, the sad reality is that the vast majority of those wrapping materials will end up in a landfill. Out of the seven categories plastics can be sorted into, LA County only recycles categories 1, 2, and 5. Unfortunately for your holiday wrapping plans, ribbon, glitter, and cellophane do not fall into these categories. 

Aside from staying far away from non-recyclable plastics in your wrapping endeavors, try to get crafty with your wrapping paper. Pull pages from old magazines, books, newspapers (like this one!), comic books, and more for an eco-friendly (and still charming) option.

Although I do believe that a slightly-less colorful pile of presents is a worthy sacrifice to make for a more sustainable holiday season, I understand that it may be a tradition. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice the look of a traditional wrapping job, opt for non-glossy wrapping paper without foil to ensure that it can be recycled, reuse bows from previous years, and, most importantly, be mindful about using–and purchasing–only what you need. 

Dani Fenster, Pacific Palisades