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Christmas Tree Disposal-Give a gift back to our environment

Consider buying a living tree this year or use an artificial tree. This will save landfill space and disposal costs of our city.

 

If you chose to buy a cut tree:

1. Be aware that THAT IT IS NO LONGER PERMISSIBLE TO DISCARD YOUR TREE IN THE CITY PARKS. Doing so could result in a fine of up to $500.

2. Our City will process the trees into mulch for flower beds in city parks. You can drop off your Christmas tree beginning December 26 through January 5 at one of the following locations:

·  Citizens Collection Station – 4100 Smith Road. Open Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.to 2 p.m.

·   Hogan Park, Field #7, behind the Armory on Lamesa Road   

    

How will this benefit you?

 

·   Recycling Christmas trees will save 400 cubic yards of valuable landfill space.

·    Recycling Christmas trees will save the City of Midland 900 hours of labor, over 800 gallons of gasoline and keep safety hazards from neighborhood parks.

Holiday Waste Prevention FAQs

Q: How much extra waste is created during the winter holiday season?

A: Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week!

If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

Statistics found at https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-holiday-waste-prevention. Visit this website and use the checklist to reduce your waste this holiday season.

Q: How can I reduce waste during the winter holiday season?
A: 
While the winter holiday season brings good cheer for most people, it also brings a lot more solid waste to the landfill, harm to the environment and additional debt to the average American family. Here are some environmentally-smart tips for a less wasteful -- perhaps less stressful -- holiday this year:

Wrapping paper is often used once and thrown away. Try using colorful pages torn from magazines to wrap small gifts, and old maps or the Sunday comics for larger boxes. Avoid using paper entirely by using reusable decorative tins, baskets or boxes. If you do buy wrapping paper, look for ones made of recycledpaper. Reusable cloth ribbons can be used in place of plastic bows. Finally, unwrap gifts carefully and save wrappings for reuse next year.

If you buy gifts, look for durable and re-usable items and resist the latest "fad" at the mall. Think of how many pet rocks, mood rings, and cabbage patch dolls ended up in the landfill!

Look for gifts with an environmental message: a nature book, a refillable thermos bottle, a canvas tote bag, a battery recharger or items made from recycled materials. Choose solar powered instead of battery powered roducts. Or better yet, ones that require no power at all.

Other environmentally-smart gifts include homemade ones: homebaked cookies, bread or jams, a plant or tree. Ones that don't create any waste at all: concert or movie tickets, dinner at a restaurant, or an IOU to help rake leaves or repair a leaky faucet. Ones that get "used up": candles, soap, or seeds for next year's garden.

You are probably receiving piles of mail order catalogs at this time of year. Call the company's 800 number and ask that you be removed from their mailing list. 

Lastly, if you send holiday cards, look for ones made of recycled paper. Avoid cards with glossy, shiny or gold foil coatings since these cannot be recycled. Save the cards that you get in the mail, cut off the front pictures, and reuse as "postcards" next year. This saves on postage too. Or, send ''electronic cards'' or make a phone call instead!



Q: How can I reduce waste and buy great gifts this holiday season?
A: 
We will generate an additional 7 million pounds of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. To reduce waste, give gifts of time and gifts that are sure to be used. Here are some suggestions.

Certificates 
Baby-sitting, taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, or cleaning the car.

Trips/Outings
Museums, parks, beaches, hikes, full moon walks, or winter picnics.

Hand Made Gifts
Fill a basket with baked goods, assemble a collection of favorite family recipes, make a holiday bouquet from fresh greens, holly, etc. and tie with bow, make Christmas ornaments from family photos, or video tape family members telling favorite family stories/memories.

Tickets
Movie, concert or sports tickets.

Gift Certificates
Restaurants, record stores, book stores, video rental stores, department stores, or grocery stores.  Online Gift Cards are zero waste!

Memberships
Health spas, swim clubs, museums, zoos, or amusement parks.

Financial Accounts
Savings accounts, mutual fund shares, or stocks or bonds.

Gifts for Children
"Dress Up Box" filled with costume jewelry, scarves, hats, aprons, and ties, cooking equipment and a recipe with ingredients, blank journal or diary, blank scrapbook with scissors and tape, flower seeds and pots, or tool box and supplies to build a simple bird house.

Gifts to the Environment
Send e-greetings to family and friends who are on-line, buy a living Christmas tree and replant after the holidays, buy live plants, gardening tools, bird seed, battery charger with rechargeable batteries, bus/light rail/train passes, bicycles or walking shoes.


Q: How can I protect the planet this holiday season?
A: 
Gift Ideas -
· Keep an eye open for products made from recycled materials.
· Gift certificates to a favorite store or tickets to a concert, theater production or sporting event.
· An annual pass to State Parks.

Entertaining - 
· When planning holiday festivities, make it easy for your guests to recycle at gatherings.
· Use plates, glasses and cutlery that can be washed and re-used.

Public Transit - 
· Let someone else do the driving on holiday shopping trips- Try a bus, train or subway. Check with local public transit for special holiday routes and hours.

The Giving Tree - 
· When it comes to trees, you have plenty of beautiful options. With live trees you can have a tree to enjoy year-round. Ask your local nursery which trees grow best in your area. Artificial trees are cost effective and they can be reused year after year. Cut trees are beautiful. But remember, they take up valuable landfill space, so be sure to have yours composted.

Wrap It Up - 
· For gift wrapping, you can start your own recycling program.
· Use old posters, comics, colorful shopping bags, even old maps. 
· When you receive gifts, be sure to save the ribbons and bows.

Conserve Energy - 
· Turn off holiday lights when you go to bed.
· String popcorn and cranberries, instead of lights.
· Close your chimney flue when your fire is extinguished.

Amidst all of the celebration and gift-giving, we can all look for ways to reduce waste, recycle and save energy. 

Q: What are some Green Resolution that I can consider this year?
A: 
Here are seven ways to reduce your impact on the Earth:
1. Recycle. If you aren’t in the habit— start today, and encourage others to do the same. Recycling not only saves natural resources, but also saves energy!

2. Remember the other important “Rs”- Reduce and Reuse. Help to lessen the amount of waste by buying items that use little or no packaging, or “buying in bulk” which reduces unnecessary and excessive packaging; and, find ways to use items over and over again (e.g. refilling your empty water bottles).

3. Buy recycled-content products. Remember to “look for it, ask for it.” Resolve to “buy green” by purchasing at least one recycled-content product on a regular basis, such as paper towels or computer paper, that is made with post consumer content.

4. Free your home from toxins. Don’t flush paints, solvents or chemicals down the toilet. Toilet bowl deodorizers, cleaning solutions with lye and many spot removers contain harmful solvents. Baking soda and vinegar substitute as great all-purpose cleaners. A wide variety of non-toxic cleaners, such as Seventh Generation, can be found at stores like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s. Cut down on pesticides and fertilizers in your garden and limit what you wash into rivers, bays and oceans.

5. Spare the Air. Resolve to minimize using your car whenever possible. Use public transportation, carpool or bicycle once or twice a week for more exercise and cleaner air.

6. Learn to Compost. Convert yard clippings and vegetable peelings into nature’s fertilizer. Your garden will love you for it. Many cities and counties offer composting workshops and free or discounted compost bins.

7. See the Great Outdoors. Whether city, county, regional or state - visit California’s world-class parks. Park volunteer or docent opportunities and special programs geared to kids represent ways to contribute to your community and enjoy nature at the same time.

Thanks to the CA Dept. of Conservation/Division of Recycling for their Green Holiday Guide from which this article is taken.

Seven Ways to Take the Waste out of Holidays

  1. Plan ahead. Making a list and checking it twice will save time, money and last-minute shopping frenzies!
  2. Consolidate your shopping trips. Spending fewer hours driving to malls and shopping centers means less wasted gas, time and stress.
  3. Bring your own reusable shopping bags instead of taking single use plastic bags. Try and avoid taking a store bag for a single item.
  4. Canceling 10 unwanted mail-order catalogs by calling their toll-free number will reduce your trash by 3.5 pounds per year.
  5. Start a savings account or give savings bonds as gifts for kids.
  6. Make your own festive, personalized gift wrap using materials you already have around the house.
  7. Keep it simple. Less can be more. Think carefully about what gifts friends and families really need.

DID YOU KNOW…?

  • …if each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by 1 gallon, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 1 million tons.
  • …if each family reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon per year, the annual savings would be 38,000 miles of ribbon – enough to time a bow around Planet Earth!

 



Tips for Having a Low Impact Christmas

Every year, folks ask ULS (Use Less Stuff) what they can do to reduce waste during the holidays – the time of year when the amount of garbage created increases by 25% versus the non-holiday season. (That’s an extra 5 million tons of trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, for you accounting types.)

The people at ULS have come up with a list of five broad categories where the average Earthling can make the biggest impact on the environment. None are very hard to do, and many will help you save time and money as you save natural resources and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

1. Think conservation, not consumption

There are many gifts that actually help people learn the value of saving resources, rather than spending them. We also include in this category gifts that don’t require you to purchase any physical stuff:

Savings accounts      Movie Tickets      Mutual fund shares
Concert Tickets     Stocks or Bonds      Sports Tickets

Don’t forget that many party-related items can be rented rather than purchased. For example, you can rent dishes and glassware, making your party more elegant and eliminating the need to buy special holiday china.

Rather than buying ornaments, children can make their own out of things you already have around the house, or from materials they might find in the backyard: twigs, back, leaves, flowers, pine cones, etc.

Plan meals wisely and practice portion control to minimize waste in the first place.

2. Focus on energy savings

Turn down the heat before the guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests will warm up the room.

Purchase holiday lights with small bulbs. Remember, the smaller the bulbs, the lower the wattage. Low wattage has two advantages: it consumes less energy and gives off less heat, making your lights safer.

When taking photos, use “fast film.” Faster film speeds, such as 400 or 800, reduce the use of flash and extend battery life. Both save energy.

Turn off computer, DVD's and so forth, when not in use. Ditto for outdoor and Christmas tree lights. Why not put the lights on timers so they turn themselves off?

Insulate! Keep hot-water pipes covered in either foam or pre-cut fiberglass insulation. Watch the attic too, since much of the heating and cooling loss in your home goes through the roof.

3. Practice systems thinking

Too often, we look at the little picture and don’t see the overall effect of our actions. We’ll save far more resources if we think through our decisions from start to end. Thus, it makes good environmental and financial sense to:

Plan your meals before you shop. And don’t forget: Stick to the list!
Consolidate your purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store on your shopping rounds.

4. Encourage self-sufficiency

The more we can do for ourselves, the less we need to rely on what others can do for us. For example, if we can grow our own food, we can reduce the energy costs associated with transporting foodstuffs from thousands of miles away.

Make the wrap a part of the gift: put cookies in a flower pot or hide jewelry in a new pair of gloves. Doing so will keep “wrapping” out of the trash.

Give gifts that encourage other to use less stuff, like a book about making crafts from reusable items, cookbook for leftovers, reusable tote bags.

Simply set a good example by giving homemade food or something you’ve made yourself from reused items.

5. Give the gift of time

Nothing costs less or means more than spending time with loved ones. Enjoy your family and friends, and your need to find joy through consumption will decline.

Yuletide Guide to Using Less Stuff

NO ROOM AT THE BIN

One of every 11 dollars you spend on gifts goes to packaging. Approximately 373 million greeting cards, 35 million cut trees, 29 million rolls of wrapping paper and 17 million bows will be purchased this holiday season. Please trim your holiday trash. You’ll save our landfills and money, too!

  • Don’t box it. Package your gifts in baskets, tins, bags or containers that can be reused.
  • For holiday parties, choose reusable plates, cups, linens and utensils.
  • Choose gifts such as a battery charger, coffee makers with reusable filters, refillable writing pens and reusable razors.
  • Avoid gifts that are obviously over-packaged.

MORE TIPS

  • If each family reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon each year, 38,000 miles worth would be saved. That’s enough to tie a bow around the entire planet!
  • Compost your leftover fruits, vegetables and peels.
  • Wrap gifts in old maps, newspapers, Sunday comics or kids’ artwork.
  • Cut off the front of cards you receive and reuse them as postcards or ornaments.
  • Make your own wreaths with dried flowers, pine cones and other similar items which you’ve saved or collected.
  • If every American throws away just one bite of turkey with gravy, 8 million pounds of food is wasted.
  • Keep your first portions small. If you’re still hungry, ask for seconds.

Did you know…? Each year the average family throws away enough stuff to fill up their entire house? And that even with recycling, each American still sends 1,150 pounds of trash to the landfill? Please be thoughtful this holiday season and remember to “Use Less Stuff”!

GIVE A GIFT BACK TO OUR ENVIRONMENT!

Consider buying a live tree this year or use an artificial tree. This will save landfill space and disposal costs of our city. In addition, you and your family will benefit, because…

  • Trees help conserve energy. Three well-sited trees around your home can reduce air conditioning costs by 10-50%, and windbreaks can cut heating costs.
  • Trees cool urban “heat islands.” Shading expanses of pavement lowers temperatures and reduces energy use.
  • Tree filter air pollution, prevent soil erosion, reduce noise pollution and provide homes for wildlife.
  • Urban trees create shade and reduce cooling demands, making them 15 times more effective than rural trees in reduction of carbon dioxide buildup.
  • One tree absorbs carbon dioxide at the rate of 13-26 pounds per year, or about 5 tons per acre per year.

How will this benefit you?

  • Recycling Christmas trees will save 400 cubic yards of valuable landfill space.
  • Recycling Christmas trees will save the City of Midland 900 hours of labor, over 800 gallons of gasoline and keep safety hazards from neighborhood parks.