Conscious Comments December 2012 | Page 11

How to be Eco-Friendly for the Holidays

Americans generate an additional million tons of household waste over the average between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

According to the EPA


Why not decorate a tree in your yard instead of buying a cut one? Or use a potted rosemary tree...which you can then use in your Christmas dinner!

Use LED lights to save energy

Make wreaths from old fabric or ribbon instead of tree branches

Use old Christmas cards and wrappng paper as decorations

Gift Wrapping

Recycled wrapping paper, fabric,old newspaper, recyled aluminum foil, reusable gift bags , old greeting cards, children's drawings, maps, or decorated paper bags are all great ways to make a gift special and be eco-friendly.

Or, skip the wrapping and use decorative jars, hat boxes, jewelery or keep sake boxes. Or simply decorate a plain box with drawings or poems.



Many cities and counties have recycling services to put your old Christmas tree to new life as a wildlife sanctuary, on a sand dune to protect the beach, chipped for mulch,or as a bird feeder.

Here are your general recycling options:

Curbside pick-up for recycling - Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the 2 weeks following Christmas. There are often requirements for size, removing

ornaments, flocking, etc.

Call for an appointment to have a non-profit in your area pickup your tree. Some boy scout troops are offering a pickup service for a small donation (often $5).

Take your tree to a drop off recycling center. Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county. Usually, you may take up to two trees to any drop o ff locations at no charge.

Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.

Wrapping paper can always be used again. Avoid tossing it in the bin with rubbish and save it for next year. Any leftover tinsel or ornaments can be used to get creative. Think about making homemade gifts as presents. Its thoughtful and a good way to avoid garbage building up. If all else fails and you must throw out some decorations then remember to separate glass from paper and cardboard. Use different bags to store the waste in so they won’t be confused. This is the simplest way to make a good start in this Eco Friendly year!

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Recycle Gift Wrap and Packaging

The holidays are here, time to clean up the mess. Gift wrapping paper, holiday cards and boxes that are 100 percent paper can be recycled. Foil, plastic coating and glitter cannot be put into recycle bins. Plastic bottles, jars, tubs and buckets are the only plastics that you can recycle at home. Check with your local recycling firm for details.

Packing peanuts and bubble wrap can be recycled at your local UPS store or shipping store.

Holiday lights that no longer work or are no longer needed, can be recycled at some outlets.