Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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Egg-cessive Easter Waste

Egg-cessive Easter Waste

It's that time of year when colorful eggs hide among blades of green grass, when chocolates nestle in baskets, when seeds are planted and animals are born. Spring is a time of new birth, a celebration of life, so shouldn't Easter be a green holiday?

It's estimated that 180 million chicken eggs are purchased in the United States for Easter every year. With all of those eggs come millions of egg cartons.

While paper egg cartons are still accepted in your curbside recycling, their paper fibers are so short that they have a hard time coming back together into a usable form. They are at the end of their recycling life.

Here's a list of ways to extend the life of your Egg Cartons:

  • Those short fibers make them great for composting along with all of those egg shells!
  • Perhaps you know someone who raises their own chickens? Donate your empty egg cartons to them. They may even give you some fresh eggs in return!
  • It's the perfect time to plant some seeds. When you use egg cartons as seed planters, you can plant the whole pod, paper and all, when it's time to put them in the ground!
  • If you like camping, a little wax from an old candle and dryer lint packed into an egg carton makes the perfect Firestarter. Just rip off a pod and light it under your kindling to warm up the night.
  • Use empty cartons to store plastic Easter eggs to use year after year.
  • Give a kid an egg carton, some paint, or other materials, and their imagination will go crazy! From caterpillars to fairy houses to any type of little creature, the possibilities are endless.
  • Donate cartons to teachers or daycares to use for crafts or paint trays. Or donate to churches that do an Easter egg advent activity for their Sunday school.
  • Crafts aren't only for kids—just take a look at Pintrest to find an array of stylish crafts from egg carton flowers to decorative lights. It's amazing what you can do with a pair of scissors, a little paint, and a bit of imagination.

Other ways to green your Easter:

* Reuse Easter baskets, plastic eggs, and plastic or paper straw.

* That plastic or paper straw is not recyclable. Eliminate it from the basket—the kids just want the candy, right?

* Choose candy without wrappers to reduce waste. Get candy from bulk sections with reusable containers or consider filling your children's baskets with healthy alternatives like fresh fruit!

* What do you do with all of the plastic eggs from the Easter egg hunt? They are not recyclable. Save them for next year or donate them to a thrift store. Or eliminate them in the first place by breaking up the egg cartons and taping two pods together—now you have a biodegradable, stuff-able egg that you can decorate however you choose! Compost them afterwards or throw them away after extending the material's life and eliminating the need for plastic eggs.

* Consider making a vegetarian or vegan Easter meal.

* ​Use reusable dishes at your events and provide recycling options. ​

* Donate any unused food to homeless shelters.

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