More Holiday Cleanup

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By Melanie Stewart

Last week’s article provided ways to reduce waste and recycle during the holidays, but wait, there’s more! There are many ways reduce the amount of waste heading to the landfill and you can help others while you’re at it.

Did this holiday season find you buried under catalog clutter?  Remove yourself from mailing lists (they can help with unwanted phone calls too!) so you don’t have to deal with them.  Recycle any you may have received.

While recycling is great, to really have an impact, reducing and reusing is the best way to go.  Did you or your kids get battery operated gadgets?  Rechargeable batteries are worth the extra up front cost, both for your budget and the environment.  If you upgraded your electronic devices, remember to repurpose or recycle the old ones.

Did you struggle to buy gifts for people on your list?  Or struggle to find time to get it all done?  Start talking to your family now about ways to make changes for next year; focus less on presents and more on your time and happiness, purchase experiences instead of things, and find a way to reduce what needs to be purchased.

Speaking of gifts, let’s face it, there’s a decent chance you got a gift you don’t want.  Maybe some shower gel with a scent that’s not for you?  Clothes that don’t quite fit or just aren’t your style?  A food basket that’s not your taste?  Maybe you have leftover canned or packaged goods bought for holiday cooking you didn’t end up using?

Don’t throw these items away or let them clutter up your home, donate them.  Lots of people donate items during the holiday season, but the need is there year round, and especially when it’s cold outside.

Unopened toiletries (including hotel/travel size), scents, clothing, functional items, electronics, and non-prepared food can be donated to a variety of shelters and charities, including Youth Emergency Services, Siena Francis House, Food Bank for the Heartland, Salvation Army, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Open Door Mission, just to name a few.  Check out Donation Town to find a charity near you.

If you or your child received books and you need to make room on your shelf, don’t forget the Little Free Library!

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