(KPLC) - Like every other state, Louisiana produces more waste in December than any other month. But individually there are things people can do to cut back on the trash they generate.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality encourages consumers to be part of the solution by working to have a more waste-free season.
Their motto, Think green! Reduce, reuse and recycle. Imagine all the wrapping paper that goes to the landfill each year.
Some alternatives are to wrap a gift in a usable item, such as a scarf that's part of the gift or use the comics from the newspaper as wrapping paper.
DEQ's Markle Farber says it helps to avoid waste.
"I'm one that believes in not wasting our resources, being a conservationist. And part of being a conservationist is not wasting. It's being frugal. And frugal doesn't mean cheap, it means being intelligent about how you use the materials, the resources that we've been given."
He suggests taking stuff like paper you've shredded and giving it new life by using it to pack items.
"A lot of people have shredders now. They can use packed material to package their presents even to put up their Christmas ornaments," he said.
With parties, we use more food during the season, which is all the more reason to save cans and such to recycle.
"Recyclables always include aluminum cans, steel cans, newspapers, cardboard."
Drop off recyclable materials at Team Green locations.
LED lights on the tree last longer, save energy and money. If possible, get rechargeable batteries for toys and gadgets.
Either donate or save electronics until e-recycling next March.
And while there are no formal, organized programs to recycle green Christmas trees in this area, Farber says some people use them to create habitats for fish or camouflage a duck blind.
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