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Don't Get Wasted This Holiday Season

Posted Nov 24 2008 10:56am
Did you know?

Between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, Americans take an additional 25% of waste to the curb. That amounts to over 25 million tons of trash for the holiday season.

If every family reused just 2 ft. of ribbon from holidays past, that would save 38,000 miles of ribbon—enough to literally tie a big bow around the entire planet.

2.7 million Holiday cards are sent across the country each year—that’s enough to fill an entire football field 10 stories high! ( Check out our picks for eco-friendly holiday cards here. )

So, what to do?

Fill your recycling cart with:

* Corrugated cardboard boxes (flatten it out to fit more!)
* Gift boxes
* Gift catalogs
* Newspapers filled and all of those advertising inserts
* Wrapping paper (non-metallic only)
* Non-metallic greeting cards

How to trim the Waste-Line?

* BYOB-Bring your own (shopping) bag for every shopping excursion—make this a habit all year long.
* Send e-cards instead of paper cards (or at least make sure your paper cards are made from recycled content).
* Avoid gift wrap that is not recyclable (metallic) or not made from recycled content—or, just decorate the box. The comics’ pages makes great wrap for kids and last years cards can become collage wrap for any box.
* Decide what catalogs you want and what catalogs you don’t with http://www.catalogchoice.org/
* Or, write to the Direct Marketing Association at P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735-9008 to have your name removed from ALL third-class mailing lists.
* Credit card offers filling your box? Opt out by calling 1-888-5OptOut (1-888-567-8688) or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.
* Shipping a gift? Use Pop Corn (the real kind, popped and no butter) to protect fragile items, and then have your gift recipient feed the birds.
* If you get a gift with those dreaded Styrofoam peanuts that will live longer than cockroaches, donate them to your local UPS or packaging store
* Lots of gifts have bells and whistles! Include rechargeable batteries and a charger to get your gift-ee off to a greener start.
* Trees, wreathes, all can be composted—and will end up as community mulch when taken care of properly. But better that that, buy your tree ‘roots and all’. Transplant that beauty after the last slice of fruit cake leaves the house.
* Don’t know what to get someone? Plant a tree in their honor!
* Make gifts like cookies or homemade meals, funky vinegars in neat saved wine bottles or hand knitted scarves.
* Consider gifts that aren’t material-like a massage, sporting event, babysitting, dog walking or tickets to the museum
* Think about the packaging! If you can’t recycle it, buy something else instead! That will send a clear message to manufacturers all over.
* Holiday lights all a tangle? HolidayLEDs.com will accept your old incandescent Christmas lights, which will then be recycled. Be sure to ask neighbors and friends if they want to recycle their lights as well. You can reduce waste and shipping costs by sending all lights in one package.
* Did you get some great new things? Appliances, clothes, gadgets, cookware? Well, chances are great that you have some ‘less new things’ that would make a lot of people pretty happy. Donate them to your favorite charity or non-profit.

This article was posted by Recycle Bank.

About RecycleBank:


RecycleBank is a rewards program that motivates people to recycle. We do this by quickly and easily measuring the amount of material each home recycles and then converting that activity into RecycleBank Points that can be used at hundreds of local and national rewards partners. RecycleBank is simple to implement, market-driven, and proven to work; saving municipalities’ money and rewarding citizens for their environmental stewardship. Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers, RRE Ventures, The Westly Group and Sigma Partners are institutional shareholders. Ron Gonen, the co-founder and CEO, is the largest individual shareholder. RecycleBank is headquartered in New York City and also maintains an office in Philadelphia. Visit www.recyclebank.com for more information.





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