waste are created between Thanksgiving and New Year's?
According to conservation experts, Americans generate 25 percent more
waste per week during the holiday season than during the rest of the
year. It's a sobering statistic, given growing awareness and
interest in recycling and sustainable living.
Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Services invites residents to fight
this longtime trend of wastefulness by participating in Use Less Stuff
(ULS) Week, a national campaign taking place November 19 through 25 to
help people reduce waste by conserving resources.
You don't have to become a vegetarian or stop giving gifts to be
kinder to the environment. The ULS Report offers these tips for
enjoying a leaner, greener holiday season:
● Buy rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts and use them
as stocking stuffers. One family can keep hundreds of batteries out of
landfills by making the switch.
● Switch to a cold-water laundry detergent. Doing so will save
the cost of hot water. (Also, consider purchasing a high-efficiency
● Hunt through your holiday storage for wrapping paper and bows
that you can reuse. Consider using old maps, magazines and bags to
● Plastic bags can be recycled! Learn more at www.plasticbagrecycl
● Plan meals and shopping trips to maximize
efficiency of time and resources
Mecklenburg's waste reduction staff offers additional tips on
how you can be generous and green this holiday season.
● Purchase gift cards, which are a snap to wrap and
generate little to no waste.
● Give homemade gifts. Home-cooked meals, baked goods and crafts
are traditional gifts with a personal, creative touch.
● Buy tickets to sporting events, movies, plays or
● Spread good will by making a donation in someone
● If you're feeling brave enough to shop at
the mall, bring reusable bags.
● Think durable. Before you buy an item, consider
how long it will last.
● Look for items made with recycled materials.
Green giving doesn't end when you're done shopping. You
can reduce waste when wrapping gifts, too:
● Gifts from the kitchen can go in Ball Mason jars, cookie tins
recycled from past holidays, decorated oatmeal canisters or brightly
colored Tupperware containers. All are reusable.
● Decorate oversized gifts with a bow that can be
reused next year.
● Use Sunday comics, decorated paper bags or
blueprint paper to wrap gifts.
● Make gift tags from last year's Christmas
● Save boxes and bows for next year.
Cut waste while cooking and decorating, too!
● Pack meal leftovers in reusable containers.
● Use china and cloth napkins instead of disposable
● Create centerpieces with an array of colorful
fruits, vegetables and nuts.
● Decorate your home with holly, cedar, berries, fruits and
nuts, which can be composted at the end of the season. Trim the tree
with strings of popcorn and cranberries.
Remember, all gift wrap and tissue can go in your curbside recycling
bin. And Christmas trees are recyclable, too.
For more information on Use Less Stuff Week, go to http://use-less-stuff.com
For more information on waste reduction and recycling year-round in
Mecklenburg County, go to http://www.wipeoutwaste.com