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Green Scene: Dreaming of a “Green” Christmas

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Did you know…

• Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans throw away about 25 percent more trash than usual.

• If every family in the U.S. wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

• 35 percent of Americans have an unused gift they have stored for more than a year.

Simple and effective steps during the holiday season can reduce your impact on the environment, promote sustainability and save you money. 

• Choose LED holiday lights, which use 95 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and can last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors.  Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost you about $18, while the same number of LED lights will cost only 19 cents.

• Buy local. Help strengthen the economic base of our community while contributing less to pollution, congestion, sprawl and habitat loss.  

• Gift giving is part of our culture. We place great emphasis on giving items to other people to show how much we care. Instead of giving physical gifts that will eventually end up in the landfill, give experiences, such as tickets to a concert or show, or gift certificates to a local restaurant. Giving experiences leads to stronger relationships and a more meaningful life.

• Give a gift that does not require batteries. According to the EPA, about 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season, and many batteries are not properly disposed of and end up in the landfill. There are many companies that manufacture naturally-powered toys. For some ideas visit Eartheasy.com.

• Every year, 30 million Christmas trees end up in landfills due to improper disposal. The city of DeKalb offers a curbside Christmas tree collection program for recycling real trees. Trees must be free of all decorations, lights and tinsel. Curbside collection begins on Jan. 7 and goes through Jan. 18.

Dates are subject to change, so visit www.cityofdekalb.com or call 815- 748-2070. 

Undoubtedly, many of you will receive new phones and tablets this year, and will have no need for the old ones. Dispose of your unused electronics responsibly. The DeKalb E-Waste program is held on the first Saturday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. at City Lot 3, at the corner of Grove and South Fourth Street.

Reader Poll

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