Thursday, December 30, 2010

No waste holiday!

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. It's a time when friends and family get together. I've noticed during this time the trashcans get fuller on my street as well. People have bought gifts and the cans are filled with boxes, colored paper and packing supplies. Also, the old broken items are disposed of and new items are put in their place. I had to think about, what I would do differently this year to cut back on the waste! How can I reuse and recycle during this holiday season?


Recycle

Cans: We opened a lot of cans this season: condensed milk, beans, pie filling, etc. All of the cans went into the recycle pile for pickup. I also reused a can; we needed a new drip can for the BBQ and the beans can fit just right!

Wrap your gifts in recyclable and biodegradable wrapping:
Use brown packing paper and raffia ribbons made of recycles plastic bags for a country look. Use cloth for an elegant look!



Reuse
Boxes: I was able to reuse many boxes for packing an sending gifts.
Other boxes I wrapped and used as decor around the house and others for gifts that were hard to wrap like clothing.

Tins: What to do with tins that hold Christmas cookies? Save them for next year and fill them with homemade goodies or use contact paper and recover them. They make great storage cans!


Biodegradable gifts


Food is always a great gift! Here is a great idea to use up some of that leftover candy!

Chocolate popcorn:
It's easy! Take 2 cups brown sugar, 1 c. butter and 1/2 c. corn or maple syrup. Let is slow boil for 5 min. Take it off the heat and add 1/2 tp baking soda, 1/2 tp salt, and 1 tp vanilla. Then spread on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 250 for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and cool for 10 min. Then dump it on wax paper. Melt some leftover Halloween and Christmas candies, chocolate and mix in your favorite nuts, raisins, mini marshmallows, etc and pour over the caramel popcorn. When the chocolate hardens break the clumps apart and store in tin containers or plastic ziplocks. :)

Iced tea:
Something as simple as this can cause a lot of waste. Instead of buying your iced tea in a can or buying powdered mix. Just boil your water on the stove and brew a big pot of tea. Then add sugar and a fresh lemon to taste. The tea tastes much fresher and you can add flavors like lemon, mint or toss in a candy cane!

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