The National Retail Federation says that we'll spend nearly $700 billion dollars on gifts this Christmas, and I think it goes without saying that along with all of those gifts comes a bunch of extra trash.

Between now and New Year’s Day, the EPA says that Americans put out a 25% more garbage than we do any other time of the year. That extra trash is thanks to wrapping paper, packaging peanuts, pine needles and more.

Are you looking for an easy way to help keep our community clean? The answer is as simple as recycling and it's not as difficult to do as you might think.

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    Recycle Packaging Peanuts

    There's a UPS store on the Vestal Parkway. If you have a bunch of packing peanuts, it might not be a bad idea to call and ask if they'd be interested re-using them.

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    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. We also reused bows and tissue paper if it wasn't too crinkled.

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    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.

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    Recycle Your Christmas Tree

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