Don’t let gifts go to (your) waste!

High tech waste

High tech waste

Today I read two articles in my local paper (the Daily Camera) that summed up the “giving season” pretty well:

Three pages in the business section trumpeted the glad tidings: big box stores are slashing prices! Black Friday is gonna be epic! New electronics, new toys, new bikes, new gadgets! Buy-buy-buy!

The related article in section A told about Boulder Ecocycle’s CHaRM, the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Material. Broken or unwanted electronics, styrofoam packaging, bicycle parts, garments, books (pretty much anything you don’t want anymore) can all be recycled at the CHaRM, which last year received about “2 million pounds of material, a six percent increase from the year before.”

After reading these articles, I called Ecocycle and asked if they see a spike in recycling after the winter holidays. “YOU BETCHA,” was their response.

In fact, in the months after the holidays, they see an increase of about 25 percent more waste (their word). The woman I spoke with said people bring in more electronics, styrofoam packaging, cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and (of course) Xmas trees even through April! None of which is free to recycle, by the way. It COSTS to discard outmoded, out-of-style, broken or useless stuff that not long ago was all shiny new.

So … how can we reform our habits and stop being so wasteful? Can we participate in the “giving season” without adding so much to the cycle of consuming and discarding?

Ecocycle says we can! And just around Thanksgiving, they’ll publish an online holiday guide to show you ways you can reduce consumption and still have a wonderful holiday season.  Just check Ecocycle’s home page from November 24-on to discover great ways that you can celebrate the “giving season” without adding clutter to your home or to the Earth!

Next post: I’ll tell you some great (ecological) gift ideas from some of my friends and family members.

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