During the holidays we tend to do things in excess, including generating 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year. Reducing our waists takes more effort than reducing our waste. Here are some ideas for the holidays and all year long.
Buy gifts locally. Whidbey’s shops and holiday fairs offer beautiful and unique gifts. Thrift shops are filled with Christmas table ware, tree stands, linens and decorations. Purchasing at thrift stores also benefits local charities. Instead of buying more “stuff,” give a gift of yard cleanup, shopping or meals to those who need help. For family, prepare a family tree or a book of family recipes. Give tickets to a play or special exhibit. Buy a state-park pass for a hiker or camper. Give plants, fruit baskets, hand-made items or reusable cloth bags.
Use cloth napkins, table clothes or mats and wash them when they need to be changed, just as for bed linens. For large group parties or meetings, attendees can bring their own tableware.
Wrap gifts with tea towels, comic and calendar pages or use gift bags which can be used again. Better yet, enclose gifts in reusable shopping bags.
Buy a $12 coupon book from Senior Services of Island County. The coupons expire in a year and are worth over $2,200 of savings on local products and services.
For more information go to: www.ssicnews.org/fund
raising/ The coupons can be purchased at all the senior services agencies on Whidbey and at many local merchants.
For more ideas, search online at: “Deck the Halls with Less Waste”.
Last, be sure to recycle after the holidays. Save gift bags and bows for next year and fold the paper and reuse it or take it for recycling. Trash the tinsel and bows. Christmas trees can be mulched or taken to a local transfer station. Batteries and electronics can be recycled at Island Recycling facilities. For more information about locations, hours and what can and cannot be recycled call: 360-679-7386 or 321-5111 ext. 7386.
Bing Crosby may have dreamt about a “White Christmas,” but I am thinking green. How about you?
WSU Waste Wise Volunteer