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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Recycle Christmas

IT'S OVER!!

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is OVER. The trees are being taken down, the cookies have all been eaten, the tinsel has been vacuumed, and the resolutions are being written. I was looking around at all the empty boxes and wrapping paper laying around my house and thinking what a waste of paper! It hit me that most everything can be RECYCLED! I have a list of all that holiday stuff in your house that has got to go and how to RECYCLE it all. Don't throw away when you can REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE. Mother Earth will thank you!


CHRISTMAS TREE

Curbside
Tossing your Christmas tree on the curb is always the first thought! It's definitely an option, but you need to be informed about a local pick up -- if your area even has one! Many communities will pick up Christmas trees from the curb, but you need to check with your local county waste management dept to find out the dates and any guidelines they may have. Be sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, etc. and cutting your tree into small chunks always help whoever is picking it up.

Local Recycling Center
Many communities have local recycling centers that you can take your Christmas tree to and drop it off for recycling. Your tree will then end up as mulch or part of a soil erosion program. This option is great, because you know your tree is going becoming part of a local lake, river, park or playground!

Get Creative
If you really want to go all Ron Swanson on your tree, CLICK HERE are 5 creative ideas from TLC for reusing your Christmas tree.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Retail Stores
There are several stores that offer drop off boxes for your old Christmas lights. Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart all should. Call your local store to verify. Home Depot was offering a Christmas lights trade-in coupon last month. If you brought in your old incandescent lights, you could get a coupon for a discount on new LED lights {much better for energy saving!}. Again, call your local store to see if this trade-in is still being offered.

Online
One store, HolidayLEDS.com, lets you ship your used Christmas lights to them, and they will give you 15% off a purchase from their store. This is another great way to trade-in your old incandescent lights for new LED ones.

Get Together
Try to get more people to turn in their old Christmas lights with you. Start a box at your office, amongst your neighbors, etc. Often, people are more willing to recycle if they're doing it with a friend!
What happens?
When you recycle your old Christmas lights, the lights get removed and are broken down. The plastics are also saved. Companies sells these parts to manufacturers, which are then turned into NEW PRODUCTS. Yay for recycling!

CHRISTMAS CARDS

We all do it. Endure the two hour family photo session, praying for every child to smile, so we can snap that picture perfect family photo that ends up on the front of a Christmas card. We even make handmade holiday cards. Who doesn't love receiving a Christmas card in the mail -- photo or not? But what to do with them come December 26? Martha Stewart is such a wise lady -- she shows you 10 ways to reuse Christmas cards. I love these ideas and already know which ones I'm going to do.


CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

Reuse Next Year
Save your ornaments for next year! Every year, I always have this gorgeous dream tree in my head with a brand new color palette and ornaments, but every year I use the same red and lime green ornaments. And guess what?! Every year -- I love it! 

Recycle Local
If you do decide to get rid of your ornaments, don't just throw them away! Call your local recycling center and see if they accept ornaments. Think of all the glass, plastic and metal that can be broken down and sold to manufacturers, just like the Christmas lights. 

Donate
Save your ornaments for next year to give to a family in need. Or, find a local thrift store to take your used ornaments to. Here in Utah, we have a Deseret Industries in almost every city. Here is a link to find a D.I. near you: Deseret Industries location look up.

CHRISTMAS BOXES AND WRAPPING PAPER

Reuse Next Year
Christmas gifts are like gifts within a gift. Presents opened by children don't really provide much wrapping paper to keep, but as an adult, you can totally control how mad crazy you open your gifts! Try to save what wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, ribbons, tissue paper, etc. that you can. You may never need to buy wrapping goodies again!

Recycle Can
Whatever you can't keep, be sure to put in your recycle can outside! Growing up, we didn't have a recycle can, but where I live now, we do. Check with your utilities department to see if they offer a recycling program. 

ELECTRONICS

Every year, companies come out with the latest and greatest electronics, and we all have to have the newest phone or computer or gaming system. But what to do with last year's model? 

Sell Online
Try to sell, if you can, through online sites such as Craigslist or your local newspaper's online Classifieds section. Facebook is also a fantastic source for online yard sales. Search for an online yard sale near you. *Always be careful when selling or buying online! If you are meeting someone for a purchase, always go with a male companion, never meet at night or alone, and pick a well crowded area. I've never had a problem before, but you always want to be safe!*

Recycle
You can find a local electronics recycling center by going to the National Center for Electronics Recycling's website. This is much better than just throwing old electronics away! CLICK HERE for link 

BATTERIES

All the toys and electronics need new batteries, but those are eventually going to die! Batteries contain materials that are recyclable, but also materials that are hazardous. I used to always throw away my batteries, until I worked for the environment dept for the State of Utah. I learned that I should be recycling my batteries! You can find a local drop off location by clicking HERE.

Basically, the moral of the story is, there is a way to recycle ANYTHING. You can find drop off locations by searching your local government websites (environmental, utilities, etc). I can't post all the links, because there are, you know, lots of states and they are all different. But I encourage you to search and find how you can recycle -- and not just Christmas! We can recycle every single day of the year.

For more info, I recommend the website Earth 911. They have a search option where you can type in any item and any location, and it will tell you how and where to recycle it. CLICK HERE for link

Send out some good karma today and Recycle Christmas!

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5 comments:

  1. I'm keen on going green

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  2. I love the idea of recycling old Christmas lights. It seems every year I have a new batch that won't work. Thanks for a great link up too! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you can get some fun new lights! Thanks for saying hi.

      xo
      Daniela

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  3. Great ideas for recycling. I shared this on Google+ and Stumbleupon. I stopped by from Social Media Sunday. I followed all your links.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Betty for sharing my post! So happy you liked it. Take care! xo

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Thanks for the chat!

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