How to haul out after the holidays
(NC) A fresh start is the inspiration for any New Year, but that sense of a clean slate can be severely hindered by all the garbage that Santa and his crew leave behind.
According to Statistics Canada, our country is one of the biggest waste generators in the industrialized world and a big chunk of that is attributed to the season of giving. If you want to make a difference, take a look at these simple tips to minimize the footprint of your festivities this year:
Recycle the wrap
Watching the kids open their gifts is a joy of parenthood, but it can leave you with a pile of wrinkled wrapping paper waste. Instead of trashing it, take the time to sort it. Recycling programs vary by region, but by-and-large any wrap that is free of glitter and glue can be recycled as regular paper.
Take care of the tree
The disposal of Christmas trees has been upgraded since the old days of dumping. Most municipalities in B.C. offer free or cheap composting by drop-off or curbside pick-up. Some even partner with a local community group to assist with fundraising efforts. Pick-up schedules and drop-off locations can be found on the Recycling Council of British Columbia website at www.rcbc.ca.
Clear the clutter
Even if you can't wait to make cookies with the brand new mixer you were gifted this year, be sure to make room in your kitchen by recycling your old appliance first. It's easy in B.C. For example, ElectroRecycle is a province-wide small appliance and power tool program, providing an environmentally friendly disposal option for more than 300 types of electrical products (including mixers, blenders and vacuums) that would otherwise end up in the landfill. A full list of accepted products and drop-off locations are available at www.electrorecycle.ca.
Craft with cards
Invoke that do-it-yourself spirit and repurpose your stack of greeting cards by transforming them into beautiful decorations that can be enjoyed for years to come. Search Pinterest for dozens of step-by-step guides for paper wreaths, ornaments and decorative banners.
Taste the turkey all winter
Any meat not devoured at the family dinner has been gobbled up in sandwiches, and you're left with a sad looking carcass destined for the garbage bin. You might not see it now, but that sack of bones is an amateur chef's dream. Throw it in a large pot of water, add some onions, carrots, celery and poultry seasoning, and simmer on the stove for an afternoon. Freeze the resulting mouth-watering stock in small portions to use in soups and stews all winter.
By following these tips you can have a warm and wonderful season and improve your eco-karma with minimal effort.
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