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What can you do to reduce waste?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
There is a reason "reduce" is the first of the three Rs. The easiest way to manage waste is to not create it in the first place.
The links on this page are here to get you started with ideas for waste reduction. They are not meant to be endorsements for any specific websites or products.
Experiences = Waste-Free Gifts
The holidays can be stressful (and wasteful). This year, try giving the gift of an experience to someone you love. Here are just a few suggestions for things to do in Pierce County:

Ice Skating at SprinkerChoose Your Own Adventure
Spend a day together! Go to a movie, bake cookies, go fishing, make crafts, play games or visit a park. The possibilities are endless.

Museums
Children's Museum of Tacoma
LeMay Family Collection at Marymount
Meeker Mansion

Performing Arts
Broadway Center
Lakewood Playhouse
 
Wildlife
Northwest Trek
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Sports and Outdoor Attractions
Tacoma Rainiers
Ice Skating at Sprinker Recreation Center
Scenic Mt. Rainier Gondola Ride
Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park
Love Your Leftovers
Use these tips to avoid wasted food this Thanksgiving.

forkUse leftovers as ingredients for future meals.
The internet abounds with recipes that use leftovers. And it’s not just turkey. Make waffles out of leftover stuffing, add cranberry sauce to a grilled cheese sandwich or to replace the jelly in a PB&J. You can also use up extra vegetables by tucking them into a turkey pot pie.

Send your guests home with a snack for later.
If you think you have more than you can eat over the next few days, pack up leftovers for your guests in reusable containers like empty yogurt and dairy tubs.
Understanding Food Package Dates
datesPierce County households threw away an average of 203 pounds of edible food in 2015.

When you use the date on a package to decide, you are likely to trash food that is safe to eat.

Learn about package dates (savethefood.com)
Upcycle!
upcycleReuse items you would normally recycle or throw away by making fun garden art.

DIY projects to get you started.
Herbs That Stay Fresh for Weeks
how to store fresh herbsCooking with fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro enhances a meal, but how do you make them last longer?

Try these tips from Serious Eats to avoid herbs that spoil before you can use them.
chalkboard gift wrap DIY Holiday Gift Wrap
Sparkly presents look oh so pretty but
metallic, foil and glitter wrapping paper
is not recyclable
.

Try these ideas instead:
Recyclable Gift Wrap
Non-metallic printed gift wrap +
reusable sparkly ribbons, bows and tags
Chalkboard Gift Wrap
Colored Kraft paper or grocery bags + white paint pen
Back to School (and Eco-Friendly)
lunch boxBuy supplies with recycled content
Pack a waste-free lunch
Find a vintage lunch box
More tips: Back to School Guide at Earth911.
Green Cleaning
green cleanOur favorite recipe for all-purpose cleaner. You'll save money and you'll know exactly what's in it. Have fun experimenting with different combinations of essential oils.
Mason Jar Magic
plant in a jarIs there anything a glass canning jar can't be reused for? Try these tips and projects:
Herb Garden
Soap Dispenser
Portable Meals (layered salads, etc.)
LEGO pencil holder
DIY Project
snack bags Reducing waste shouldn't be a chore. Have fun making your own reusable items. If you are handy with a sewing machine try making your own reusable sandwich and snack bags.
Compost Your Food Waste
worm binIt's easy to compost your food waste at home with a worm bin. You don't need a lot of space and the compost makes a great fertilizer for your plants. Take a free class to learn how to get started.
Tips to Reduce Waste
Think reusable! Bags, coffee cups, lunches, etc.
Look for products made with recycled content.
Buy things that will last.
Share your ideas
We'd like to hear from you. What are your favorite ways to reduce waste?
Send your tips and ideas.

Post your projects and successes and ask questions on Facebook or Twitter @PierceCo #lesswaste