Dec. 2, 2010 -- More than 30 million Christmas trees and other greenery end up in landfills after the holidays every year.
That's according to the Environmental News Network.
In addition to trees, paper and boxes – from all those gifts you're going to unwrap – contribute to all that extra material that ends up in landfills. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says household waste grows by 25 percent during the holiday season.
There is a way to reduce that waste. Take the items you may have intended to toss into the trash and turn them into holiday decorations!
Green Your Holiday Greenery
Chassie Post, lifestyle editor of Gilt Groupe appeared on "Good Morning America" today to demonstrate how you can use your holiday waste as decorations.
If you'd like to make wreaths from newspaper, Christmas bulbs or recycled soda cans, or if you think a soda can Christmas tree would be cool, make them using the following directions from Gilt Groupe, a lifestyle website:
DIY Holiday Decorations
Newspaper Star Wreath
You'll need a wreath form, newspaper, scissors and push pins. Post said they decorated a wreath with German stars. You can use this wreathe over your mantle, on your front door or just use the stars for their own ornaments.
Cover the form with newspaper strips (this can be made of any eco- friendly material you have available).
Use 4 strips of paper measuring about 2cm x 65cm.
Insert two points of one star into the gap between the two points of another star.
Secure the stars with pins or a dab of glue.
Aluminum Can Wreath
Post said this is a glamorous way to decorate with your recycled soda cans.
You'll need a wreath form, empty aluminum cans, scissors, ribbon and glue.
Collect a few cans. Using the scissors, cut the top and bottom off the can. You will be left with a tube of aluminum.
Cut the tube so that you are left with a sheet of aluminum.
Cut out a leaf shape.
Bend the leaf shape to create the veins of the leaves.
Wrap wreath form with ribbon.
Tuck or glue leaves underneath ribbon layers.
Coat Hanger/Recycled Ornaments Wreath
This is a festive way to decorate and recycle last year's ornaments. It's especially useful if you have mismatched ornaments. You'll need recycled ornaments, a coat hanger, ribbon, glue and duct tape.
Bend the hanger to form a wreath/round shape.
Attach the tops to the ornaments with a glue gun with a dollop of glue so the ornament tops are secure.
String the ornaments on the hanger, creating a full appearance.
Connect the ends of hanger with a piece of tape.
Add a bow to top of wreath. The bow will camouflage a thinner appearance at the top of the wreath where the two ends of hanger connect.
Recycled Bottle Tree
This is a great alternative to the traditional holiday tree. Add some lights and you'll have a really "green" tree!
You'll need glass bottles, round disks made of recycled plywood, tempered glass (or any study recycled material), Christmas tree lights and glue (non-flammable, clear).
Hunt for recycled bottles (all should be the same height and shape).
Using the height of the bottle as guide, determine the height and width of your tree.
Cut disks from the recycled material with 3-inch diameter circle in the center. To determine diameter of disks, start with largest disk and cut each disk 4 inches smaller than the preceding disk.
Place largest disk on ground (keep in mind you will not want to move this after you make so choose your spot carefully).
Glue three bottles around the center 3-inch hole for stability.
Arrange the Christmas tree lights around bottles in center (it's a good idea to tape them down) with plug trailing off the disk on the side that will be the back of the tree.
Glue the bottles around the edge of disk in a complete circle. Determine how far in the bottles should be placed by using the next disk as guide. The bottles on the base will be the support for the next disk, and so on.
Place the next disk on top of ring of bottles.
Pull the Christmas tree lights up through the center hole.
Repeat until you use all of your disks and reach the top of the tree.
This tree will be fragile, so be extra careful if you have young children or pets. Make sure the glue you use if not flammable.