How to tell if your gift wrapping is recyclable

By 10 a.m. Christmas morning, the area around your tree will be strewn about with discarded paper as you've opened the prizes inside. So does it go to the recycle bin or trash? There's a simple test.

Just because you've used paper to wrap, it doesn't mean it can be recycled. So if you're looking to be greener this season, how can you tell? Do the 'srunch test'.

According to Beth Porter, a waste expert and the author of Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine: Sorting Out the Recycling System, simply take the wrapping and "scrunch" into a ball. If it retains the shape, you're good to go. If not, it goes out with the regular trash.

This does not apply to tissue paper, glitter-covered, metallic, or plastic. That all goes in the trash with bows and ribbons, which can tangle up the machines at the plant. OR you can self-recycle and try to save that paper for next year.

To cut down on waste, try wrapping with paper bags from the grocery store, newspaper, magazine pages, or an old map instead. Or better yet, something you have already like a scarf or a reusable bag.

(Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)