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Zero Waste: The Day After

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Thanks for all of the great feedback on our Zero Waste holiday series of blog posts. If everyone was taking the steps our readers are, we'd make a huge dent in that stat about North Americans producing 25% more waste during this time of year! It's so wonderful to know, judging by your comments, that we are not the only environmentally conscious souls out here.We've talked about holiday cards, holiday lights, Christmas trees and wrapping already. If you have implemented some of these tips, you may not have a giant mess to clean up! But just in case, here are some suggestions.

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  • Compost your real tree and reuse your artificial tree.

  • Recycle or reuse your holiday cards and gift wrap.

  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of regular ones. I know that they can be problematic at times - if you don't charge them right before using them, they can slowly lose their charge and not work when you need them. Plan ahead!

  • For regular batteries, please recycle them instead of letting them end up in the landfill. You can find info on how and where to recycle at earth911.com.

  • Did you get a new computer or other electronic equipment? Donate your old stuff! Our Central Texas Goodwill has a great program where they take all electronic equipment and try to reuse it first...if they can't, they recycle it. Who does this in your city? This sounds like a really good resource: http://www.computerswithcauses.org/

  • How many of you got new phones? I am soooo excited about a new cell phone recycling program called Turn Phones into Loans. This campaign is collecting one million cell phones to benefit the Chiapas project that will support 100,000 women by offering them microcredit loans. Simply visit their website, and they will send you a baggie that you drop your phone in and send it back to them at no cost to you! At our global headquarters, we're partnering with them to put out collection bins. If you work for a large business, maybe you want to do it too!

  • Did you get a gift card? After you use it, don't throw it away. Bring it to any Whole Foods Market and we will recycle it for you! (Learn about our recycled gift cards.)

And one more thing... did you get something you don't like? Why not donate it or re-gift it, instead of making that trip back to the store and spending more of your hard-earned cash?Okay, I know you all have green ideas too. What other suggestions do you have to help us all clean up the after holiday mess?

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