Category Archives: Sustainability

Post-Holiday Recycling Tips | Creating an Ecofriendly Holiday Season

All of the gifts are opened, the in-laws have finally left, and if you eat any more fruitcake you might just burst. The most festive time of year is officially over. But now what?  What to do with all the extra things that come along with the holiday? Becoming ecofriendly will help the end of year transition.

As an ecofriendly person you dread the idea of post-holiday waste. There has to be something you can do? Not to worry we are here to help you finish out your environmentally friendly holiday season.

Here are our 10 post-holiday ecofriendly recycling tips:

Gift Wrapping

1) Recycle wrapping paper. Traditional wrapping paper is recyclable, but anything with plastic, metal, or foil is not.

2) Save the accessories. Don’t trash bows, ribbons, or other decorations that are in good shape. Save them for upcoming celebrations or holidays.

3) Save packing materials. Store things like tissue paper, shipping peanuts, and bubble wrap to use the next time you need to ship something or for storing fragile holiday decorations.

Decorations

4) Recycle old Christmas lights. Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s allow customers to recycle non-functioning lights. You may even receive a discount toward the purchase of ENERGY STAR qualified LED Christmas lights.

5) Recycle your Christmas tree. Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the two weeks following Christmas. They chip and shred the trees to make mulch.

Gifts

6) Donate unwanted gifts. Drop them at your local shelters, charities, Goodwill, or Salvation Army.

7) Recycle your old electronics. E-waste is bad for the environment if not properly recycled. Many of the product manufactures offer an e-cycle program to take back old products. Check the EPA for a complete list of places where you can drop off or mail in old electronics.

8) Donate old holiday cards to charity. St. Jude’s Ranch for Children recycles your used greeting cards and creates new holiday and all-occasion greeting cards. Recycled cards are sold to support our programs and services.

Food

9) Compost left over food scraps. While you’re cooking or after your family meal throw leftover food scraps into a compost pale or bin.

10) Donate leftover food. Your local food bank, church, soup kitchen or charity will gladly accept any unused food.


What and how do you compost?

According to the EPA “food waste is the second largest category of municipal solid waste (MSW) sent to landfills in the United States…that is over 30 million tons of food waste that the U. S. sends to the landfills each year. The majority of these organics takes a long, fossil fuel-powered trip to the landfill. Methane from these landfills is equal to around 20% of the pollution output of coal-fired power plants in the United States.”

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10 Ways to Throw an Eco-Friendly Holiday Party

Holiday parties are typically filled with food, drinks, fun and laughter. Everyone gets together to celebrate the season and have a good time. But many times the waste that these parties produce is no cheerful matter. There are things you can do to cut down waste and throw and environmentally friendly holiday party.

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American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why

Tucked in the woods 30 miles north of Washington is a plant packed with energy-guzzling machines that can make even an environmentalist’s heart sing — giant conveyor belts, sorters and crushers saving a thousand tons of paper, plastic and other recyclables from reaching landfills each day.

The 24-hour operation is a sign that after three decades of trying, a culture of curbside recycling has become ingrained in cities and counties across the country. Happy Valley, however, it is not.

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Unprofitable Recycling Weighs On Waste Management

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Average prices of recycled commodities fell 14% from January to March

A lot of glass meant to be recycled can’t be, because it is contaminated. Photo: Justin Cook for The Wall Street Journal

Recycling is a growing financial weight on the country’s largest trash hauler.

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Why recycling economics are in the trash bin – CBS NEWS

The recent unexpected collapse in oil prices is putting the squeeze on the recycling industry.

As a result of crashing crude prices, it’s cheaper for plastics companies to use new or virgin materials than recycled stuff. Prices are so low for recycled plastics and glass bottles that companies such as Waste Management (WM) or local governments have to pay to have it hauled away. It’s a simple issue of supply and demand.

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How To Be “Green” This Holiday Season

As we feast, give gifts, decorate and travel during holiday season, we also consume lots of resources and generate lots of waste. The amount of household garbage in the United States can increase by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, from 4 million tons to 5 million tons.

The holidays are special, but this year’s festivities don’t have to negatively impact our environment. There are a number of measures that all of us can take to lessen the amount of trash we produce and the amount of time we spend on the road.

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