Friday, December 18, 2009

Ask Ida

How can I cut down on holiday waste?

Dear Ida B. Green,

We usually do fine with our small garbage can until the weeks before the holidays and the week after. Any tips?


Garbage Man

Dear Garbage,

Good job keeping your landfill load down. Reducing your waste goes a long way to reducing your carbon footprint. Here are a few ways to keep your holidays green by keeping your trashcan half empty.

1. To cut down on your pre-holiday trash problem, pre-cycle everything from food to gifts by purchasing items with minimal and recycled/recyclable packaging. Whenever there's more package than product, everyone loses. And let your local merchants know that having less packaging is important to you. Merchants are sensitive to their customers' concerns.

2. Excessive wrapping paper is often the post-holiday culprit in your garbage can. Some creative suggestions from a couple of my neighbors:

· Wrap presents in your children's artwork or dress up plain paper wrapping with fun bows you save over the years.

· Reusable bags made from strong paper or festive material can become a holiday tradition and made to fit gifts of any size.

3. If you're giving a gift that is already in a container (backpacks, purses, etc), fill it up with the recipient's other gifts.

4. For the packages that come into your home already wrapped, save wrappings that are reusable for next year. Recycle any non-glitter, non-metallic papers with your curbside mixed-paper load.

Easy to be Green,


—Elizabeth Jeffrey

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