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Friday, December 24, 2010

Thinking Green

Have a Green Christmas

Do you know that Americans throw away 25 percent more trash or about 1 million extra tons each week during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period? In fact, about 38,000 miles of ribbon are tossed out each year which apparently is enough to tie a bow around the Earth. (information posted from website  Earth911)!  Lets all try to reduce waste by following some of these simple holiday tips:

For Dinner Preparations:
  • Buy baking goods and snack food in bulk.
  • Plan meals wisely practicing portion control to minimize waste.
  • After a big dinner, you'll have leftovers galore. Plan for leftovers in advance.
  • Pack and send leftovers to local food banks or charities.
  • Compost your food waste. Fruits and vegetables and their peels, pits, and seeds are perfect for composting.
  • Don't use paper products for all your Holiday Parties.
  • Cut up last year's holiday cards and use in next years Holiday decorating.
  • Place recycling containers at your celebration so guests can recycle their cans and bottles.

Shopping for the Holidays:
  • Send electronic greeting cards (I use Jacquie Lawson).
  • As you shop, place your purchases into your own cloth or canvas shopping bags.
  • When ordering online, request that items be shipped together.
  • Use shredded paper, newspaper or  even candy instead of conventional packing "peanuts".
  • Recycle foam "peanuts" at a local drop-off or buy-back recycling center. For a location near you, call 1(800)CLEANUP, a service provided by Earth 911.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts.
  • Find out how to recycle your old cell phones at www.recyclewirelessphones.com

For Gift Wrapping:

  • Purchase recycled wrapping paper and avoid metallic colored wrapping paper which cannot be recycled.
  • Purchase cloth ribbon that can be reused year after year since most ribbon cannot be recycled or nix the ribbon altogether.
  • Give a present in a present (for example, a hat in a matching scarf, jewelry in a wooden box, cookies in a reusable tin or cookie jar, barbecue grill utensils or picnic supplies in a tablecloth, kitchen gifts in an oven mitt or kitchen towel).
  • Have your children create personalized wrapping paper by decorating reused brown paper grocery bags with drawings, stickers, or even stamps.
  • Reuse last year's holiday cards for gift tags or write your greeting on the box.
For Decorations:
  • Use trimmed branches from your yard for decorating around the home or making wreaths.
  • Use reusable glass icicles instead of disposable tinsel. 
  • Reuse your tin cans as luminaries.
After Opening Your Presents:
  • Donate old appliances, toys, games, or clothing, to local charity or thrift store.
  • Use leftover gift wrap to line shelves and dresser drawers.
 For the New Year:
  • Do something "green" for your New Year's resolution, such as using reusable cloth shopping bags, switching to compact fluorescent lights to save energy, planting a tree, etc. Visit the website www.reduce.org for ideas on furthering reducing your Holiday waste or for making greener choices in the coming New Year!
For Your Christmas Trees:

  • Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. Recycle your Christmas trees by contacting your city recycling coordinator.

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