Tis The Season.....To Recycle

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The holiday season has arrived and so has the abundance of trash that will be generated.  Did you know that Americans throw away more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than any other time of the year?  Small changes in the way we generate our holiday trash can have a big impact on the environment.  Here are some suggestions for the holidays:

            Christmas Cards:

  • Buy recycled-content Christmas cards.
  • Eliminate envelopes: Start a family holiday newsletter. Fold letter in half or thirds and put the address and stamp on the back.
  • Avoid Christmas cards with foil decorations or lining-they are not recyclable.
  • Use this year’s Christmas cards for name tags on next year’s Christmas presents.
  • Instead of mailing Christmas cards or newsletters, send holiday greetings by email.

Did you know that all the Christmas cards sold each year in the United States could fill a football field 10 stories high?  If we each sent one less card, we would save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

Wrapping Presents:

  • Make your own beautiful packages by wrapping presents with paper from Sunday comics, old maps, magazines, cloth napkins or from decorated paper bags. 
  • Instead of wrapping gifts for the kids, hide the presents, and turn it into a treasure hunt.
  • Wrap the gift in a gift.  Put cookies in a flower pot or hide jewelry in a new pair of gloves.
  • When shipping gifts, pack with air-popped popcorn, shredded newspaper or scrap paper.
  • Use recycled-content wrapping paper.
  • Save your ribbons and bows to be used next year.

Did you know that if each family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon each year, 38,000 miles of ribbon would be saved?  That is enough ribbon to tie a bow around the entire planet.

Gifts:

  • Give consumable gifts like food, gift certificates and movie passes
  • Give the most precious gift, the gift of time.  Give certificates for help with babysitting, gardening and other household chores.
  • Give books or magazines that can be shared or recycled.
  • Make a gift. Gifts will mean more and will be treasured longer if they are made with love.
  • Consider memberships or donations to a non-profit organization.
  • When shopping for gifts take your own canvas bag or reuse the plastic shopping bags you get with a purchase.

Did you know that last year almost one billion dollars worth of unwanted gifts ended up in storage or in the landfills?  Make your gift count by choosing one that benefits the environment.

Christmas Trees and Decorating:

  • Buy a live tree that can be replanted after the holiday season or use an artificial tree.
  • Decorate with flowers or fruit.  Compost the decorations after the holidays.
  • Use only reusable decorations on your holiday tree.  Make ornaments from recycled or reusable materials: shells, fabric scraps, cookies, candies, egg cartons and bottle caps.  String popcorn or cranberries. 
  • Instead of paper or plastic, use cloth napkins and tablecloths, china and flatware for your holiday parties.

Did you know that nationally 93% of people who used a real Christmas tree recycled their tree in a community program?  In Sumter, you will be able to take your Christmas tree to a “mulch better place.”   Christmas trees will be accepted at all county recycling centers from Dec. 20rd to January 9, 2014 or at the entrance to Dillon Park.   Free mulch will be distributed on Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 7am – 10am.

Join in the spirit of the holidays by reducing the season’s impact on our environment.  Remember to reuse or recycle your holiday items.  Happy Holidays!


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