Holiday Waste Reduction Tips – Part 5

It’s easy to be green no matter what holiday it is-

Waste Reduction
-Send holiday e-cards instead of paper greeting cards or make sure the ones you buy have recycled content material.
-When shipping, reuse foam peanuts or other packaging materials.
-Use reusable grocery and shopping bags and make sure to recycle the non-reusable ones.
-Use rechargable batteries for cameras, flashlights, etc.
-If you have several events or parties in a short amount of time buy food items in bulk. You will save a trip to the grocery and use less packaging!
-Eliminate using disposable plates, cups, napkins and silverware. If you do buy disposable products look for ones with recycled content.
-Instead of buying new items (e.g., a dress for a party, more chairs, etc.) consider borrowing or renting things.
-Shop at thrift stores for unique gift items or holiday decorations.
-Compost your leftover food - it’s easy and a great fertilizer!
-Save all gift-wrapping and decorations to reuse later or wrap gifts in old maps, posters, sheet music, fabric scraps or wallpaper scraps.

-Have clearly marked recycling containers at your holiday party.
-Cook holiday meals in recyclable and recycled content pans such as aluminum.
-If your holiday gifts include new electronic gadgets and you need to discard your older electronics, recycle them instead of throwing them away. Contact your local recycling office or visit http://www.p2pays.org/localgov/PAYT/ncwaste.asp to find out how to recycle your electronics.
-Recycle or properly dispose of all cooking grease. Do not put it down the drain.

Energy Conservation
-Make sure to turn off or unplug holiday decorations when they are not in use.
-Be sure holiday decorations are not placed on or obstructing air vents.
-When cooking, use your microwave oven as much as possible or plan your oven baking to avoid continuously reheating the oven.
-Use LED holiday lights. They use about 99 percent less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors.
-Reduce your light display by one or two strands. You may not even notice the subtle change.

Water Conservation
-Defrost frozen items in the refrigerator, not under running water.
-Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwater.
-When washing dishes keep washing soap usage to a minimum. It helps reduce the amount of rinse water needed.
-Don’t run the kitchen faucet continuously while washing dishes.
-Let pots and pans soak instead of letting the water run while you clean them.
-Minimize the number of dishes used at holiday parties.

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