StopWaste at School


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Tips for a Waste-Wise Holiday Season

The holidays provide a great opportunity for teachers to model responsible waste-reducing behavior in the classroom, and to offer students suggestions for how they can enjoy the festivities at home without generating waste.

Green Gift-Giving

Gift Wrapping

Refuse to purchase new gift-wrap. Instead use:

  • Scarves, handkerchiefs or bandannas
  • Old posters and maps
  • Your children's artwork
  • Old sheet music.
  • Last year's holiday paper (press with warm iron if wrinkled).
  • Wallpaper scraps
  • Fabric scraps
  • Sunday comic pages.
  • A plain box decorated with leftover glitter, paint, markers, etc.
  • Check out this website for creative waste-free wrapping:


  • Commit to no disposables: use "real" tableware; if you don't have enough, borrow some.
  • Buy baked goods and appetizers in bulk, rather than pre-packaged party trays.
  • Make potlucks "waste free" by requesting that guests avoid party trays of food.
  • Avoid purchased, single-use, table decorations; have your students/children create them out of left over cards, calendars, ribbons, etc.
  • Cut up last year's holiday cards and use as place cards.
  • Use outdated calendars taped together to make a unique New Year's tablecloth.