PHOENIX – The feasts, shopping and gifts that make the holiday season special also yield a tremendous amount of garbage destined for municipal landfills.
The surge in disposable dinnerware, greeting cards, gift wrap, foam packing, cardboard and plastic bags used at this time of year prompted Think Before You Shop, a public-awareness campaign organized by the Maricopa Association of Governments.
Produced with MAG’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee and the Valleywide Recycling Partnership, the campaign is built around six videos providing tips for reducing holiday trash.
Julie Hoffman, MAG’s environmental planning program manager, said the videos complement what Valley communities already do to discourage waste and encourage recycling.
“A lot of the cities receive phone calls on recycling, so we want to put some videos out there to encourage people to think before you shop, to provide some tips on ways that can reduce, reuse and recycle during the holiday season,” she said.
Americans produce 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than during the rest of the year – about 1 million extra tons, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“That’s an amazing amount of waste in just a short period of time if you think about the overall impact,” said Kristen Osgood, project manager at Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability.
“A lot of times people get caught up in the excitement and the business of the season and are not conscious of how much waste has been produced,” she said.
The 30-second videos, released on Nov. 15, America Recycles Day, provide tips on dealing with disposable dinnerware, gift wrap, greeting cards, foam packing, cardboard and plastic bags.
The video on greeting cards suggests cutting them in half and using them as postcards or gift tags. One on gift wrap suggests using old posters, maps or calendars instead. Instead of using disposable dinnerware, a video suggests dishes and cloth napkins.
Marilyn Miles, a Mesa resident, said that while she recycles a lot the videos encouraged her to think before purchasing items.
“The one thing that made a difference for me is to think about what I buy before I buy, think about the packaging that it comes in, think about recycling and reusing it,” she said.
Christine Smith, acting assistant public works director for Phoenix, said it was challenging to make the videos because recycling programs in each city are different.
“But we were able to identify these items as something that everybody in the Valley can participate in,” said Smith, chairwoman of MAG’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee.
She said the videos will not only help cut down on trash but save money for families.
“It was really important for us to try to get to our community and residents before the big shopping season starts,” Smith said. “Hopefully the videos can help them rethink and reconsider some of their purchasing opportunities.”
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments