Recycling keeps Holidays 'green'

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessica Lawson
  • Public Affairs
The holiday season is a time to celebrate traditions with family and friends; but it's also an excellent opportunity to give back to our planet.

To help keep the holidays "green," the 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental Flight would like Team Moody to use some important environmental practices during this holiday season.

Wrapping paper is one of the main trash culprits during the holidays. To reduce your amount of trash, wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper. Also remember to save or recycle used wrapping paper. Another way to reduce the amount of wrapping paper is to give gifts that don't require much packaging, like gift certificates.

When buying gifts, it's also a good idea to check product labels to determine an item's recyclability and durability. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing money. After the present has been opened and it's still in the package, don't forget that the packaging material can often be recycled. 

Cards are also a great way to connect during the holiday season, but most end up in the trash at season's end. Send recycled-content greeting cards to reduce the amount of new paper used and recycle paper cards you receive. Also try electronic greeting cards to reduce paper waste. 

The holiday season also sees an increase in battery sales, accounting for approximately 40 percent of yearly purchases of the item. To reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, buy rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts. 

To reduce energy costs, turn off decorative lights at specific times. This will not only save money and electricity but will also cut down on possible fire hazards.

In addition to the large amount of battery sales, approximately 33 million Christmas trees are sold in North America during the holidays each year. After Christmas, if you haven't bought a tree you can plant, check to see if your town has a Christmas tree drop-off site where the trees will be turned into mulch or chippings for other proposes.

While the base will not have a Christmas tree round-up this year, there are three places in Valdosta to take them.

Individuals may drop their used Christmas trees off Dec. 26 and Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The collection spots are: 

· The Home Depot on Norman Drive
· Super Wal-Mart on Inner Perimeter
· Mathis City Auditorium on Ashley Street

There will also be a collection point in Hahira on the corner of Lawson and Lowndes streets.  Trees will be collected at this point until Jan. 10.  For more information on this drop-off location, call (229) 794-3747.

To limit the amount of overflow trash on base during the holidays, Slone Associates will monitor dumpsters and cardboard bins for overflows. The Recycle Center can also be called at 257-1993 for additional pickup.

While the holidays are about family, friends and fun, you can also stay environmentally friendly during your holiday season.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the 23rd CES Environmental Flight at 257-3849.

(Elvis Lane, 23rd CES, contributed to this article.)