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Create New Waste-Free Holiday Traditions and Memories
As we gather together to spend quality time with family and friends, keep in mind how you might be able to cut down on a little waste that is generated during the season. Here are some tips that emphasize the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra, and may help create new traditions and lasting memories:
sending an additional 1 million tons of trash per week to landfills.
Reduce – Visit Clark Green Neighbors for more tips.
- Give experiences, time or talent as gifts. Gift cards to favorite restaurants, spa or salon. Tickets to a sporting event, musical or comedy show. Teach them how to knit or play an instrument.
- Think durable when selecting gifts. The longer an item lasts, the less often it will need to be replaced. Consider reusable batteries as part of the gift to reduce the purchase of single-use batteries.
- Suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange. Cut down on the number of gifts that you purchase this year by setting up a Secret Santa gift exchange between family and friends, rather than buying for everyone.
- Consider purchasing a potted tree. Select a non-traditional Christmas tree alternative that you can plant in your yard afterwards or keep indoors. Visit your local nursery and ask for suggestions, such as a Norfolk Island pine.
Reuse – Visit Green Neighbor's Thrift Store Donation Map for locations in the area.
- Wrap gifts in a gift. Learn the art of furoshiki, the traditional technique for gift-wrapping, by using a square of thin fabric like a large handkerchief, scarf, an old t-shirt or bandanna.
- Make a charitable donation on behalf of an animal lover. Unused pet food, toys and supplies can be dropped off at animal shelters.
- Shop second-hand. Support local businesses and keep usable goods such as clothing, books, toys and more out of the landfill.
Recycle – Visit RecyclingDoneRight.com for drop-off locations.
- Christmas Lights. Never put them in the blue recycle cart.
- Cooking Oil. Protect your drains, plumbing and pipes from grease and frying fat build-up.
- Electronics. Items such as computers, monitors, TVs and e-readers can be recycled for free at E-Cycle Washington locations.
- Styrofoam Blocks and Peanuts. Never put them in the blue recycle cart.
- Christmas Trees. Skip the tinsel and flocked snow look to be able to recycle it in your organics or yard debris cart.