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Earth Friendly, Green Living: Compost, Recycle, Reuse and Donate.

Earth Friendly, Green Living: 

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Compost, Recycle, Reuse and Donate

This Holiday season is approaching quickly as is the cold weather.  Have you already heard the sleigh bells jingling, seen a partridge in a pear tree, hung the mistletoe and decorated the Christmas tree?   Everyone always has a lot going on during the holiday rush, but I’m here to tell you not to forget to compost, recycle, reuse and donate what you are done using.

Even though most of us have experienced the first frost of winter you can still be using your compost pile in the garden or your back yard.  It just needs a little more TLC when it gets chilly outside.  You can build a shelter for your compost pile to keep the warmth in or dig a hole and place all your compost in their till spring, covering it with a piece of wood.  The Great Vancouver Regional District has built a great shelter for their compost; you can get the detailed plan here.

Here are a few things that you can use for compost:

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1)    Food scraps

2)    Fur from your furry friends or hair from your own brush

3)    Bills, junk mail and newspapers

4)    Paper products: towels, napkins, plates

5)    Breads, pasta & rice

6)    Used coffee grounds and tea bags

7)    Lint from the dryer

8)    From the yard: leaves, branches and yard waste

For all other things you can’t compost you can recycle, reuse or donate them.  Entertaining is a staple during the busy holiday season and not everyone has time to wash and dry every dish so they use paper or plastic dishes and cutlery.  Instead of throwing them away this holiday season look at the number on the bottom of the plastics and see if you are able to recycle it in your community.

Plastic numbers go from 1-7, they are located on the bottom of your plastic containers, a few you might find during the holidays:

#1 PET (drinks, bottled water)

#2 HDPE (Milk cartons, detergent, yogurt)

#3 PVC (Plastic Wrap, Vegetable oils)

#4 LDPE (Produce bags, bread bags, squeezable bottles)

#5 PP (Ketchup, medicine, straws)

#6 PS (CD Jackets, egg cartons, foam peanuts)

#7 Other (Tupperware, 3-5 gallon reusable water bottles)

For more information on what plastics you can recycle please visit Earth 911.

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You can always choose to reuse products you have for something else.  The most sustainable way to reuse something is to turn it into something else.  A few ideas for the holidays are making ornaments, reusing scrap gift wrap and fabric to dress up a gift, create holiday boxes and tins, and an eco-friendly gift could be something you make yourself, for instance a reusable tote from a pillowcase you no longer use.  Those are just a few ideas.  There are so many unique ideas out there to make reusable gifts.  You can reuse so many everyday items in your home to make something beautiful.  When paper, plastic and other recyclables get picked up and recycled and turned into new things there is a number of times certain things can be reused.

Plastic- Often, only one time into the same thing, but depends on the plastic.

Aluminum- cans can be recycled infinitely.

Paper- 5-7 times into new paper.

Copper and Steel- Infinitely

Cardboard- Stronger than regular paper it can be used more often to make new things.

Glass- Infinitely

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So do your part to recycle in your community and in your travels, but know there are so many creative things you can do at home to make something old into something new.

Now we all know we don’t have an endless number of hours to be crafting and making things into new to us items, and that’s when donating old, well taken care of, items is great.  Donating your old household, kitchen, living, bedroom, and bath items as well as clothing, shoes and accessories to local and national organizations can make someone who is less fortunate or thrifty have a wonderful holiday season as well.  Sometimes something we see as old or used can be considered vintage to another.

So let’s regroup.  This holiday were all going to be proactive, not only with donating, reusing and recycling but also starting a winter compost pile that will then turn into a spring compost pile making great soil for planting May flowers.

Enjoy your holiday.

Keep it earth friendly and green!

Tags: donate, holiday, Earth Friendly, Recycle, green living, compost, reuse

Healthy Living Tips: 4 Ways to Have Greener Holiday


Healthy Living Tips: 4 Ways to Have Greener Holiday

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This holiday season have a very merry “green” holyday. 

Every year my mom always has me on the hunt for “green” ways to make the house smell nice and look great.  This year we bundled up and found some beautiful pinecones, evergreens, holy and berries to spruce up and old box and set it into the fireplace.  We also had some left over so we decorated the front window boxes as well.  It’s a great way to spend some time with your favorite someone, while saving dollars and using something natural from the earth.  There are so many different ways to enjoy your holidays this season; here are a few more ideas to celebrate green:

1)  Holiday Cards- Instead of ordering cards online and having them shipped to you or buying them at your local store, choose a greener option and send online e-cards to family and friends, they can save them in a folder or delete them versus throwing them out and having them end up in a landfill.

2)  Homemade gift ideas- Make a list, not naughty or nice, but a list of those you will be buying for this holiday season.  There are so many wonderful gifts you can give that you yourself can make, not only is it fun, but it something you made for that one person, something special.  A few of my favorite websites for great gift ideas to make include: Pinterest,, Uncommon goods has a bunch of recycled and handmade gift ideas as well as Martha Stewart,

3)  Gift Wrapping- There are so many options out their this year for holiday wrapping paper and gift bags, so while they all look so pretty and would look nice under the tree forgo the wrapping paper and use reusable gift bags and recyclable paper. 

4)  Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts-In 2010 there was 34 million tons of food waste generated.  You and your family can help out by using your leftovers.  Bread can easily be made into croutons and turkey into a  delicious turkey soup.  Hey put the croutons on top of your turkey soup… delicious! (

5)  Donations- Every year when you start taking out the holiday and winter gear there are always a few things that you don’t want anymore. Don’t just throw them into the trash donate them.  There are so many places that will take donations from the Salvation Army, Savers, The Red Cross and more.  Make someone else’s holiday season a little brighter with a new to them, winter coat, pair of shoes, purse, mittens…

Tags: Healthy, holiday, Gifts, Green, Donations, Decorating