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Town of Boone hopes for green Christmas

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Article Published: Dec. 22, 2011 | Modified: Dec. 22, 2011

The town of Boone’s recycling program would like to remind the community that there are many creative ways to reduce waste by reusing and recycling the massive amount of packaging that the holiday season creates.

Here are some hands-on ideas that are easy to incorporate into your holiday practices.
Shopping, wrapping and gift ideas:

When you go shopping, bring your own reusable tote bags and avoid using plastic bags.

Remember that much of the packaging from presents can be recycled, such as corrugated cardboard and pasteboard. Most mail centers will take packing peanuts.

Have children make their own wrapping paper by designing and coloring on paper grocery bags or use old homework pages to wrap gifts. Grandparents love to see them. Sunday comics make colorful gift wrap for children’s packages, as do old posters, maps, old sheet music and wallpaper scraps.

Save your store-bought gift bags each year to redistribute to family and friends.

For packing, consider these alternatives: popcorn (enclose a note saying birds can eat it), biodegradable starch peanuts, used packing peanuts or bubble wrap from a previous gift, or crumpled newspapers.

Consider buying a potted Christmas tree or purchase your tree from a tree farm rather than cutting one in the wild; then use trimmed branches from your tree for decorations for wreaths. Consider buying an artificial tree that can be used year after year.

Decorate your home, tree and centerpiece with holly, cedar, berries, cranberries, popcorn, fruits and nuts, all of which can be composted or used for bird food after use.

Save gift boxes, bows and ribbons to use next year.

Adorn your gifts with these items: reusable items such as hair bows, ornaments, shoe laces, neckties, toys, bows and holiday cards cut up from previous years.

Cut up old Christmas cards to use as nametags, bookmarkers, dinner place cards or postcards.
Use Christmas stockings to wrap small gifts in; they can be reused year after year.

Kitchen gifts can be wrapped in a colorful towel. Kitchen utensils can pop out of an oven mitt.
Promote sustainable lifestyles by giving gifts such as refillable beverage bottles, coffee mugs, reusable totes for shopping bags and items made from recycled materials.

If every American family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

For more information about recycling, contact Marsha Story, town of Boone recycling coordinator, at (828) 268-6230.

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