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If you bought a cut tree, it can be chipped and used for mulch or turned into a habitat for fish or other wildlife. Smithville Lake often collects undecorated trees as does the Liberty parks department.

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season. Americans typically generate the largest amount of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, states a release from the Department of Natural Resources.

"As you plan your holiday events and gatherings, remember to add a bit of green to your party theme," states the release. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources shares the following tips to maximize holiday cheer while being environmentally friendly.

• Channel your inner elf. When it comes to gift giving, consider homemade. You can reuse glass jars by creating homemade snow globes or filling them with cookie and cake mixes.

• Wrap your gifts in a way that would make the Grinch’s heart grow. Use maps, posters or comics from your newspaper to decorate gifts. You can also use decorative tins or boxes instead of throw-away wrapping materials.

• Have an extra green Christmas tree. Instead of choosing a cut Christmas tree, opt for a potted tree that can be replanted outside after the holidays. If you want a cut tree, consider buying from a local tree farm. Shopping locally means fewer miles, fewer emissions and a healthier environment.

• Choose LED lights, which have a longer life span and use less energy than regular lights, and use a timer that automatically turns lights off and on.

• Plan ahead and only cook what you need. If you do have food waste, compost as much as possible and recycle as much trash as you can. Save wrapping paper and bags for use on next year’s gifts.

• If you bought a cut tree, it can be chipped and used for mulch or turned into a habitat for fish or other wildlife. Smithville Lake often collects undecorated trees as does the Liberty parks department. 

For more information on recycling, reuse and composting, contact the department's Waste Management Program at (800) 361-4827 or visit dnr.mo.gov/document-search/green-tips-seasons-holidays-pub2993/pub2993.