Monday, December 8, 2008


MAKE AN EARLY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO CREATE LESS HOLIDAY WASTE TALLAHASSEE – Now that the holiday season has officially begun, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is encouraging citizens to be on the lookout for ways to avoid extra holiday waste and help conserve Florida’s natural resources by recycling and reusing a variety of products. “Celebrating the holidays is about the spirit of giving and spending time with loved ones, but we should also avoid filling landfills with unnecessary trash,” said Mary Jean Yon, DEP’s Director of Waste Management. “Reducing, reusing and recycling can prevent pollution and protect the environment.” According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and the New Year than during any other time of the year. This accounts for the creation of almost 25 million tons of additional waste during the holiday season. Simple things that can be done to reduce waste during the holidays: * When shopping, bring your own reusable tote bag instead of accepting a separate plastic or paper bag for each purchase. * Buy holiday cards made from recycled paper or make your own creative cards on recycled paper. * Reuse packing cartons and shipping materials. * Purchase LED Christmas lights for energy efficiency in your holiday display. * Put all of your lights on timers for energy savings and peace of mind while you’re away. * Use tins you’ve been saving for gift boxes. * Recycle unwanted and duplicated gifts by promptly exchanging them or giving them to a local charity. * Gifts of new appliances and clothes will often replace items that can still be used. Collect these items and donate them to local charity groups. * Purchase a Christmas tree that can be mulched or planted. * Compost your kitchen scraps from holiday dinners and parties. * Give personal services such as massages, gym memberships, manicures, or haircuts as a gift instead of a present that could eventually end up in the trash. * Don’t wrap oversized gifts and reduce wrapping paper waste. Hide them and give the recipient clues. Make the search a treasure hunt. * Make the wrapping a useful part of the gift; put cookies in a flower pot or hide jewelry in a new pair of gloves or socks. * Purchase gifts that are durable or that can be used or recycled or made with recycled products. * Use cloth napkins, silverware, glass drinking cups and ceramic coffee mugs and reusable plates rather than disposable plastic, Styrofoam or paper at holiday dinners and parties. * Rent party furnishings rather than buying things you will only use once a year. This reduces clutter at your home and also produces less waste for the environment. * Buy and use rechargeable batteries. In February 2009, the television broadcast signal will change to a digital format which some older televisions will not be able to receive. If you plan to purchase a new TV during the holidays for your family, it’s important to note that unwanted electronics should be recycled in order to recover and reuse the product itself or materials such as copper, steel, and glass that the product contains. For more information, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/Waste/categories/electronics/default.htm To increase recycling throughout Florida, this summer Governor Charlie Crist signed the Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008 into law which establishes a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020. Within the law, DEP is directed to develop a program to achieve this goal and submit it to the Florida Legislature for consideration by January 1, 2010. For more information on the new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent, and to share your comments on ways to achieve this goal and view comments from others on our web-based forum, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/recyclinggoal75/.

1 comment:

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