(WAFB) - Louisiana, like the rest of the country, produces more waste in December than any other month of the year.
Planning ahead and reusing items can help lead to less waste. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality offers the following simple tips for you to have a more waste-free holiday.
Reduce, reuse, recycle: Wrapping paper is typically not recyclable, so be creative when wrapping your presents this year. Wrap a gift using another gift, such as a scarf, bandana, dish towel, or cloth shopping bag. Newspaper and colorful flyers also make for great recyclable wrapping. Also, last year's cards can be used in crafts and ornaments.
Out with the old and in with the new: Just before the holidays is the perfect time to clean out clutter. Consider donating unneeded toys or clothing. Discarded electronics can also be donated to non-profits of to the Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council. This organization provides computers to schools, families, and other non-profits. Visit their website at www.cacrc.com.
Consider the environment while decorating: An artificial tree does not have to be thrown away and a live tree can be replanted. When discarding a cut tree, remember to remove all tinsel or decorations before recycling it. Trees are typically collected in January and are ground up to be used as compost or mulch. Find information about seasonal tree pickup at the East Baton Rouge Parish Recycling website here. Also, LED lights last longer and save both energy and money. Click here for instructions about recycling lights.
Recycle packing material: Packing material, such as cardboard and plastic peanuts, can be recycled. Visit www.loosefillpackaging.com to learn how to recycle these items properly. Also, consider buying rechargeable batteries for toys, cameras, and gadgets. While slightly more expensive than other batteries, they last longer and reduce waste. When those batteries are no longer able to hold a charge, call the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at 800-8-BATTERY, or visit their website at www.rbrc.org for information on the nearest battery drop off location.
For more recycling ideas, visit www.deq.louisiana.gov/recycling.