DAY 5: 12 Days of HOTBIN Composting Christmas Tips
DAY 5: All Wrapped Up. Composting at Christmas.
Everybody looks forward to waking up on Christmas morning to a stack load of beautifully wrapped Christmas presents under the tree. It’s a familiar scene as the family get together to start handing out presents. At the end of this special occasion, a good amount of wrapping paper, gift tags, carton boxes and other embellishments are left for final disposal. What is compostable and what is not? That is the question at hand.
Americans discard $11 billion worth of packing material, 15 million Christmas trees and 2.6 billion cards. This waste ends up in landfills, where it decomposes and releases methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas [Seasidesustainability.org].
Gift tags / Ribbon/Embellishments
Once you’ve read the gift tags and thanked the recipient, discarded cards can be cut up and placed in the HOTBIN. Elements such as foil will not compost, however cotton-based string will.
Then you have ribbons, bows and other embellishments that come in all guises. That is, big or small, foil or natural fiber, etc. Unless they are paper or cotton based, they cannot be composted. However, most can always be stored and put aside for future use. Using outside greenery for embellishments when available, is ideal for composting.
It's estimated that Americans throw away 38,000 miles of ribbon- enough to wrap around the Earth and 2.6 billion cards every year [Seasidesustainability.org].
With ~2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper winding up in landfills [brightlyeco], major companies are already sourcing sustainable paper and other materials to help reduce the impact on our planet. It is up to us to do our contribution now, by composting all that can be composted.
Most wrapping paper are compostable in the HOTBIN. Non compostable include paper with glitter, plastic & foil). TIP: When putting your gift-wrap in the HOTBIN ensure it is shredded, free from sticky tape, and any embellishments that won’t compost. Otherwise, you will end up with a big 'bundle' in the bottom of your bin.
Corrugated Cardboard / Cardboard
You can chop-up brown corrugated card boxes and mix them in with your HOTBIN waste to help balance moisture levels in the bin. Any printed boxes — similar to cereal boxes— are not recommended but can also be shredded and added sparingly to your HOTBIN. The same goes with boxes with wax coatings, as they will also be slower to compost than brown corrugated ones. However, you can expect them to show in the final compost. If you decide not to add them to your HOTBIN, we recommend that you send them to your local recycling provider and avoid —by all means— trashing them with the rest of your trash heading to landfills.
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