Don't Be The Grinch That Trashed Christmas
Louisiana, like the rest of the nation, produces more garbage during December than any other month of the year. You can make Christmas a lot easier on you and your family by doing some concerted home environmental planning.
Have a Green Christmas
Look for reuse and recycling opportunities as you replace appliances, electronics and computers.
Discarded cell phones may be donated for Domestic Violence Programs though your cell services provider.
Discarded electronics (computers, copiers, fax machines, printers, monitors) may be donated to a local nonprofit, parent-teacher association or the Louisiana Corporate Recycling Council's computers for schools program, 225.379.3577. Parts that cannot be refurbished can be sent for dismantling.
Appliances may either be donated or sent for recycling.
Outgrown toys and clothes and furniture may be donated to organizations like Salvation Army, Paralyzed Veterans, or Volunteers of America.
Look for ways to avoid creating garbage. Rather than wrapping gifts for the youngsters, hide the presents, and turn Christmas into a treasure hunt. Create you own recyclable wrapping paper by using the Sunday comics, magazines and wrapping paper recovered from previous events.
Practice "pre-cycling" by taking recycling or reuse into consideration when you buy. How do you do this? Simple. Consider an artificial tree that does not have to be discarded or recycled and is not a fire hazard. You can buy a live tree and plant it in your yard after the holidays. If you buy a cut tree, plan your decorations to minimize flocking, tinsel, and decorations that will have to be removed before recycling. Check with your local solid waste officials, recycler, or waste company to determine local requirements. Trees that have lights, ornaments, excessive tensile, spray or flocking or include stands or plastic bags simply add to the garbage collection. Most Louisiana municipal and parish tree collections are held during the first two weeks of January. Trees are collected for use in coastal restoration projects or used in compost projects. Check with the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority on the use of Christmas trees in coastal Louisiana.
"Out with old, in with the new?"
Innovate Your Gift-Wrapping
Save and reuse gift bags. Home made and endlessly reusable Christmas theme fabric with Velcro fasteners can substitute for paper wrap. Large or odd size gifts maybe placed in Christmas theme fabric bags with drawstring tops. Used attractive, decorative gift boxes and forego wrapping.
You Are Not Really Recycling Until You Buy Recycled
Many more quality products are being made with recycled content. From fleece jackets made with recycled plastic to shirts, shoes and most paper products. Recycled content products are widely available. Ask your retailer if you cannot find the product you want in recycled content.
Recycle Those Foam Peanuts
Usually a local mailbox or postal shipping store will take your foam peanuts for recycling. If you need to track down the nearest dealer, call "The Peanut Hotline" at 800-828-2214. If you are a retailer and want to participate in "The Peanut Hotline" and receive consumer peanuts, check out http://www.loosefillpackaging.com/hotline/.
Much of Christmas can be recycled!
Most cardboard is recyclable and there is a high demand for old cardboard. Use rechargeable batteries in all those electronic toys, cameras and gadgets. When your rechargeable nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, or small sealed lead battery no longer holds a charge, call the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at 800-8-battery or use their web page at http://www.rbrc.org for the nearest battery recycling drop off. Unfortunately the high levels of ink and aluminum foils used in wrapping paper are not conducive to recycling.
Have a safe Christmas
Never burn Christmas wrapping in a fireplace. Do not burn Christmas trees in a fireplace. More holiday safety information is available from the Louisiana State Fire Marshall.
Go to index_home.htm for more DEQ Christmas and recycling ideas. Have ideas you want to share? Contact us at deqassistance@LA.GOV.