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GO GREEN WITH HOLIDAY RECYCLING TIPS
December 7, 2010
MADISON - The holiday season is a time of giving and sharing with family and friends. While enjoying these traditions, you can also take steps to reduce waste, save money and be creative while making the holidays green.
An average Wisconsin resident generates 1,259 pounds of solid waste each year. This amounts to nearly three-and-a-half pounds per day, including both household waste and an individual's share of commercial waste. During the holidays, waste can increase with extra packaging, gift wrap, disposable dishes, leftover food and more.
A variety of tips on reducing holiday waste, giving green gifts and reducing energy consumption is available on the Department of Natural Resources website.
"From using less packaging and buying environmentally friendly gifts, to creative reuse of materials in decorations, the holiday season offers many opportunities to reduce waste, help the environment and save money," says Cynthia Moore, DNR recycling manager.
The DNR's holiday waste reduction tips can be found on the DNR's EEK! Environmental Education for Kids website. Some suggestions include:
Holiday Preparation Tips
- Instead of incandescent lights, use energy-efficient LED lights for holiday decorations. Have lights that no longer work? Many companies accept used light strings for recycling and may even offer a discount on new lights. Talk to your local retailer or search online for details.
- Use a timer to turn off holiday lights when no one is awake to enjoy them.
- Potted trees are a great waste-free alternative to cut trees and can be planted in the yard in the spring.
- At holiday parties, use washable plates, cups, silverware, tablecloths and napkins instead of disposables.
- Look for gifts with little or no packaging, or packaging that can be easily reused or recycled. Remember to bring your own reusable bags to bring your purchases home.
- Shop for experiences, not things. Give your family and friends tickets to a concert, museum passes or tickets to a baseball game. Doing something together is fun and leaves no waste.
- Give gifts that help your friends and family live greener. Possibilities include bus tickets, state park passes, compost bins, reusable grocery bags and rechargeable batteries and chargers.
- Show your support for recycling by purchasing gifts made of recycled material.
- After the holiday season is over, put cut trees in the yard to provide winter cover for rabbits and birds. In the spring, chip the tree and use it for mulch.
- Did you receive new electronics this holiday? Recycle your old electronics to preserve resources and prevent toxins from entering the environment. Find a recycler near you through E-Cycle Wisconsin.
- Save and reuse ribbons, bows, gift bags and wrapping paper from year to year. Recycle paper and boxes that are no longer useable.
- Don't throw away your holiday or greeting cards; use them to make new cards next year or donate to organizations that could reuse them.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Kiefaber, (608) 267-2463
Last Revised: Tuesday, December 07, 2010