Tips to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle


  • Conserve Paper- Print drafts on the back of used paper for editing. Use draft feature in the print menu to save on ink. Be sure to edit and check spelling on the screen before printing.
  • Place an order through the mail with a group of people in order to save money and reduce packaging waste.
  • Another way to cut down on paper use is to send electronic greeting cards. Some environmental groups offer these, even letting you use a family photo.
  • Before you throw away or recycle all of those gift catalogs, take a minute to pick out the ones you don't want to receive anymore. Call their toll-free numbers NOW and ask to get off their list.
  • Buy Durable- Consider how long an item will last before you make a purchase. Often, a cheaper item will wear out long before its more durable equivalent.
  • Borrow, rent of share items used infrequently.
  • Avoid disposable plates, cups, bowls, utensils; carry your own.
  • Reduce your use of aluminum foil and plastic wraps, or avoid them completely by using plastic containers. You can also reuse those glass jars that you would normally recycle.


  • Drop off extra packaging materials at local private mailing centers.
  • Brown paper bags are excellent for wrapping parcels.
  • Donate or resell items to thrift shops or other organizations in need.
  • Reuse last years Christmas cards by making gift tags out of them.
  • Got a new microwave, toaster, clock radio, toy, or coat? Consider giving away your old appliances, toys, games, or clothing to a local charity or thrift store.
  • Reuse paper and plastic bags and twist ties.
  • Turn a giant cardboard box into a child's playhouse.
  • Transform a plastic ice cream tub into a flowerpot.
  • Give pet hamsters or gerbils paper towel and toilet paper cardboard tubes to play with.
  • Use an egg carton to plant seedlings.
  • Use reusable containers.
  • Bring your own bag or backpack when shopping.
  • Whole tires can be reused in several different ways. They can be used for applications such as fencing, playground equipment, erosion control, crash barriers, and dock bumpers.
  • Be like Oprah. Start a book club that swaps books and magazines or gives them to libraries, senior centers, or schools.


  • After Christmas, recycle your tree- * Place the tree in the yard or garden for use by birds and other wildlife. The branches provide shelter from strong winds and cold. * Prune off the branches and place the boughs over perennials as a winter mulch. * Chip the tree and use as a mulch around trees, shrubs, or in flower beds.
  • If you have a yard, allow mown grass clippings to remain on the lawn to decompose and return nutrients back to the soil, rather than bagging and disposing them.
  • Put those left over Halloween Pumpkins in a mulch pile rather than the trash.


  • Buy recycled products.
  • Avoid products with unnecessary packaging.
  • Post a chalkboard or wipe board for phone messages instead of using paper in your house or in your hall.
  • Polystyrene, commonly referred to as Styrofoam, comes in many different forms. Made from a non-renewable resource, polystyrene is also difficult to recycle. Try to avoid buying products packaged in polystyrene, and let your grocer know your preference. Polystyrene packaging materials can be reused many times before disposal.
  • Avoid non-recyclable packing materials. Try to use newspaper or shredded office paper wherever you can. You can also use real popcorn as packaging and it can be composted when your finished! A plastic bottle can be made into a: Funnel by cutting off the bottom. Liner for a planter or flower pot. Bird feeder. Container for storing nails, screws, washers and nuts. Etc... . After the holidays, there are several ways to dispose or recycle your tree. (Before recycling your Christmas tree, remove all tinsel and ornaments.) Some suggestions are:

No-Waste Gift-Giving Ideas

  • Here are a few ideas and suggestions on how to have a wonderful, gift-giving holiday season and still be earth friendly.
  • Hide the large, unwieldy gift somewhere in the house or yard, and give the person a card with a clue, or a series of clue cards, to lead them to the present.
  • If you do use storebought wrapping paper, buy the kind with recycled content (the more postconsumer, the better).
  • Not sure what to get someone? How about a gift certificate? That way, you know the gift will be kept. * * Make gifts. Everyone appreciates a home-cooked meal or baked goodies.
  • Consider nonmaterial gifts. Tickets to a sporting event, movie, play, or concert are a real treat! Or make a charitable donation in someone's name.
  • Set a box aside to collect the reusable ribbons, bows, and other package decorations.
  • Most gifts boxes can be flattened and reused throughout the year for other items. Recycle boxes that can't be reused.
  • With all the excitement, people usually tear through the gift wrap, so set aside a large box or bag to collect the torn gift wrap. If there are large uncrumpled pieces of wrap, consider using those pieces for wrapping future gifts. CAUTION: Before taking the bag of used gift wrap out to the trash can, check to make sure toy or game parts have not been accidentally dropped in the bag.
  • Put this year's Christmas cards away to cut up and use as gift tags for next year's gifts.
  • If you bought a live Christmas tree, be sure to plant it. Or consider donating it a local school or nursing home to plant on their grounds. If you bought a cut tree, remove all decorations including tinsel and lights before recycling. Check your local paper for instructions on recycling options and the dates for pickup or drop-off. City and county Christmas tree recycling programs are also advertised on the radio.


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