Earth-Friendly Giving, Entertaining This Year
Along with good
holiday cheer, comes a lot of extra waste: Americans throw away 25
percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Yearís as compared
to any other time of the year. The extra waste amounts to about 1
million extra tons per week.
The packaging from
gifts, food waste from the large meal preparations and decorations
from parties really start to add up. If each of us tried a few waste
reduction efforts, we would see a significant positive impact during
the holidays and subsequent weeks.
Here are a number
of ways to make this holiday season greener:
no-waste gifts, such as music or sports lessons, memberships to
a gym, symphony or museum, favors like babysitting or tickets to
a sporting event or concert. There are also many products made
from recycled content that make great gifts; be sure to buy
durable, reusable products that will last a long time.
gifts, consider reduced or no-waste wrapping options. Put a
large, reusable bow on the gift; place the gift in a reusable
bag such as a backpack or purse; or package small, themed gifts
in a larger item - such as plates or table service inside
placemats or a tablecloth or kitchen utensils in an apron or
with wrapping by using cloth bows and wrap, pages from the
newspaper or magazines, decorating paper shopping bags or
cutting pieces from maps or posters. Recycled-content wrapping
paper is also available. Save bags and bows to use on future
If you are
attending a party or dinner and are bringing a dish for the meal
or an edible gift for the host, be sure to package it in a
reusable container. If the item is a gift, place it on a
decorative holiday plate, in a washable kitchen container or
wrap it with a holiday towel.
greetings via e-mail - itís a great way to share photos and keep
in touch more frequently. If you send cards in the mail, make
them with last yearís cards or wrapping paper.
use washable utensils, plates, glasses, napkins and table
coverings. Decorate with plants (that your guests may take
home and plant in their yards as a commemoration of the holiday
celebration) or candles. Be sure to have containers available
where your guests can put recyclable cans and bottles. If you
have leftover food, send it home with your guests in reusable
containers or donate it to a local homeless shelter.
Christmas trees, garlands and wreaths can be
recycled in your green waste bin when the holidays are over.
Waste Management collects Christmas tress from its residential
customers during the two weeks following Christmas at no
additional charge. Be sure the tree is cut into three-foot
sections and remove any tree stands, nails, tinsel and
decorations. Next year, consider an artificial tree or a live
tree that can be planted after the holidays.
If you receive unwanted items or new items that
will replace current possessions, consider donating to a local
For more information,
please contact the City of Calabasas Recycling
Coordinator at (818) 224-1600.