Finally… we’ve stopping scurrying around in preparation for the holidays, but now we’re all liking looking around and seeing plenty yet to be done in the wake of a hectic season.
The tree, the lights, the presents, the boxes, the bags and bows, the piles of Christmas cards!… WHAT to do now? Well, let me help…
Here is a very simple list of things you can do to curb the waste, make the most of the season and keep it green!:
The Christmas tree – if you had a live-cut Christmas tree, check out Earth911 to find a drop-off so it can be turned into mulch or composted (if your community doesn’t offer the service). If you have a wooded area near your house, give it back to nature for a wonderful winter habitat for animals. If your tree is artificial and you’ve considered a replacement, donate your old tree. Many organizations and needy families would love them for next year.
Packaging and boxes – everything from gift packaging to the shipping boxes the gifts arrived in… either recycle them (if they aren’t usable again) or save them (along with the reusable packing materials) for when you need to ship something. If you have more than you can handle, list and sell them through Box Cycle.
Gift bags, ribbons, bows and tissue – simply fold, flatten and store them. They can all likely be used again (and again!).
Lights – if you have strands that have permanently gone out, take advantage of clearance sales and stock up on new LEDs for next year’s energy-efficient decorating. You can also check outHolidayLEDs.com… they’ll accept old incandescents and give you a 25% discount on a new LED purchase.
Clear it out! – make way for new gifts by cleaning out what is no longer needed and donate them to charity. Clothes, toys, books, household items… everything is useful for someone, or an entire family, in need!
Christmas cards – save them and cut them up to become gift tags for next year.
Christmas cardsalternative – ever heard of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children? Well, they’d love to receive your Christmas cards! This non-profit organization cares for abused, abandoned and/or neglected children. They accept used greeting cards (including Christmas, birthday and even “Thank You” cards), the children remove the fronts and attach them to a recycled paper backing. They turn them into new greeting cards… and then sell them! Bundle them up and mail them to:
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
As you get your post-holiday life back in order there is some work to be done but, rest assured, there are plenty of wise, green choices that can be made as we bid the year farewell…
(This giveaway is now closed for entries… see “comments” for the winner!)
We’re on to the fourth giveaway… and it’s another great one! We’ve covered some giveaways for you, for your baby, for the whole family and now it’s time to send one of your kids off to lunch in the coolest, greenest way possible!
It’sCitizenpip’s lunchkit! Everything is BPA-free, safe, reusable, eco-friendly galore and super cute! Perfect for avoiding all of that needless lunchtime trash. (Did you happen to know that, on average, a child throws away about 67 pounds of trash in one school year?!?)
Today, you can win a FREE Square Meal Kit! It includes an insulated lunch bag, stainless steel water bottle, thermos and fork & spoon set, four food containers and five cotton napkins.
Does your little citizen need some pip? Then just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on November 9! (U.S. entries only… sorry.)
Enter to win and turn lunchtime “Citizenpip” green… minus the 67 pounds of trash!
I’m a recycling maniac. I really do recycle just about anything I can justify going into the recycling can… mostly because I know the list of common recyclables AND because I can’t stand NOT recycling. (Small paper tag on a new article of clothing?… oh yea. Even something THAT small!)
Sometimes, however, there are items that just don’t fit the guidelines: plastic containers that your community won’t accept, polystyrene trays and egg cartons that can’t be recycled, kids cups from restaurants or just that miscellaneous something-or-other that is destine for the trash.
Have you ever considered your children’s school or a local art group? I have, and I donate all of this unwanted “trash” to my kids’ art class. They accept it with open arms and put these supplies to good use.
Drop the teacher a note or call the school to see if they are interested. You might be shocked with how excited they’ll be to take your “garbage” off your hands.
The summer is dwindling… it’s the countdown to the “end”… sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? But this is truly my least favorite time of year. Sure the weather is wonderful and there is still so much fun to be had, but I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach when I have to send my kids back to school. I actually happen to be a mom who loooves to have my kids at home!
But school time is looming and it’s time to prepare. So, while you’re prepping your list (the long list!) of everything they need, keep these tidbits in mind to help keep it on the green side:
Check your “stock”– you may already have supplies at home; some may even be leftover from last year, so check carefully before you buy.
Look for recycled content– notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, binders and even backpacks… there are lots of options out there made from recycled content, so be wise when you choose. Also, choose paper, paperboard or canvas over plastics.
Waste-free lunches– plan to pack your kids’ lunches with reusable lunch kits like those from Kids Konserve or Citizen Pip. Also, opt for reusable containers, bottles, real silverware and cloth napkins over anything single-use or disposable, and make sure everything is BPA-free.
Backpacks and totes– as exciting as it seems to purchase new every year, convince your kids that if it’s still functional, it’s still usable. If you can, also steer them away from something “character” based, so when they outgrow the character you don’t feel forced into a replacement. And when you do need to replace one, consider donating the outgrown version and make sure the new one is PVC-free.
Clothes– we all know how quickly kids grow, but the bigger they get the slower they grow. Take a little time for a “try-on” session. If it’s not outgrown, no need to replace it just yet. When it no longer fits, be sure todonate everything to organizations that provide clothing to those in need. Even consignment shops and sales or swaps are great resources for giving or getting items that still have usefulness.
Whether you get teary-eyed at the idea of sending your kids back to school, or the first day couldn’t come soon enough (I’ll be a teary-eyed one!) be sure to earn a “green star” for your efforts before they go!
Okay my friends… it’s as simple as this. We had a choice.
Many people were going to visit our house. The keg was calling out for a party. Do you buy disposable cups or reusables? Quick! Make your choice.
It sounds crazy, I know, but I found myself facing this ridiculous question. What… do… you … do?
I went to the dollar store. I bought cups. I bought reusable cups. I walked away from the disposables… and guess what? We were just fine. Everyone followed the rules. They used the cups. They deposited them back into the kitchen. They found their way into a (full) dishwasher. They were washed. They were stored for the next gathering. We threw NOTHING away. We won’t need to spend more money next time either.The next time, “we already have cups”.
Success. Yes. No trash. That’s all you need to do. Wise choices, my friends. Wise choices.