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38,000 Miles Of Ribbon Becomes Trash; Tips For Cutting Holiday Waste

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Lane County Waste Management
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$11-billion worth of packing material. 38,000 miles of ribbon.  Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans generate 25% more trash than any other time of year. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports these statistics are a real humbug for local waste managers.

“During a time period which we’re saying ‘Peace on Earth’ and we’re trying to pour out love. What we’re doing is pouring out waste.”

Sarah Grimm is Lane County’s Waste Reduction Specialist. She says there are lots of ways to cut down or eliminate holiday rubbish. Like making gifts by hand with re-used materials. Or the gift of experience-- say a theater production or ski passes. And that packaging waste?

“What’s going in our garbage can is going in millions of other people’s garbage can,” notes Grimm.

Grimm says on-line purchases are packaged in brand new materials that go straight to the trash heap.

She recommends buying locally and wrapping gifts with nothing new.

“You and I both know we can reuse a cardboard box many times,” says Grimm.

Wondering if something is Recyclable in Lane County? Look it up at www.lanecounty.org/garbageguru

Handmade gift and wrapping ideas courtesy of Lane County Waste Management:

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Credit Lane County Waste Management
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Lane County Waste Reduction Specialist Sarah Grimm (right) and Master Recycler Kelly Bell model aprons made from recycled pet food bags!

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Credit Lane County Waste Management
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Snowflake made with plastic six-pack can rings.

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Credit Lane County Waste Management
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These decorative owls are made out of cardboard toilet paper rolls.

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Credit Lane County Waste Management
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Wrapping with nothing new. Reuse boxes, ribbon, wallpaper scraps, cuttings of wrapping paper...

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Credit Lane County Waste Management
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Reuse ribbon, paper, and foil to wrap gifts.

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Credit Lane County Waste Management
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Bath salts and body oils can be made and packaged in re-used bottles and jars at home.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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