By Angie Timmons • Guest Columnist
‘Tis the season for gift-giving, holiday parties and family celebrations. If you’re looking for ways to green up this season, consider these ideas to reduce the amount of trash you make.
• Give an experience. Buy a gift certificate for a class or event that you know they’ll love.
• Make coupons for loved ones that they can cash in for a lunch on you, chores around the house, or other favors they would appreciate.
• Fix something up, something that a loved one still has but are unable to use — sharpen her ice skates or fix a flat tire on his bike.
• If buying new, look for gifts and gift-wrap that are environmentally-friendly, made from recycled products, or that can be reused.
• Use old books, maps, magazines or comics to wrap the gifts you give. This is a great way to personalize — pick a map or magazine that will mean something special to the person you’re giving it to.
Reducing waste at holiday parties:
• When hosting, use reusable servingware rather than plastics or paper. If you don’t have enough reusable service ware, borrow from friends or family.
• Provide recycling receptacles in obvious places for your guests to use.
• Send online invitations instead of using paper invites. Many websites that offer these “e-invitation” services are free and are useful for tracking RSVPs and sending reminders, which help to make party planning easier.
• Save boxes, packing material, wrapping paper, bows, and gift bags for future use.
• When attending a party, ask for recycling options.
Keep recycling even after the holidays: recycle your live tree. Some communities make discarded holiday trees into mulch for use in community parks, or chip and use them as fuel. Visit our Christmas trees and holiday decorations page, our quick tips on no-waste holidays from RethinkRecycling, or contact your county or waste hauler for more information.
Make the most use of the items you and your loved ones already have so that you use less, buy less, and save more. Give gifts of time and effort and reduce the amount of waste created this holiday season. 0
About RethinkRecycling.com: The Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB) launched its first education outreach campaign in 2003 to help citizens living in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington understand the urgent need to make environmentally responsible purchasing and disposal decisions in their daily lives. The SWMCB is proud to sponsor its current campaign, RethinkRecycling.com.