Archive | November, 2014

Don’t waste the holidays

When you’re making your holiday to-do list, be sure to add reduce, reuse and recycle! There are many great ways to practice the three Rs — from Halloween to New Year’s Eve.


  • Shop thrift stores or online for pre-owned décor you want; donate or sell what you don’t.
  • Take good care of your decorations so that they will last many years.
  • Make handmade decorations that are re-useable, recyclable or compostable.

BinnyDance-02-01Cards and Invitations

  • Purchase cards made from recycled content.
  • Make handmade, recyclable cards.
  • Send electronic invitations and cards.
  • Donate used cards.


  • Make your own costume from secondhand clothes or items you already have around the house.
  • Skip the chemical-laden face paint (which can be disposed of safely through your local HHW program). Instead, make your own safe, planet-friendly makeup.


  • Shop at thrift stores or online to find a unique used gift.
  • Give an experience! Try gift cards for food and entertainment, tickets to a show, or memberships to a museum or zoo.
  • Make a donation in someone’s name.

Gift Wrap

  • Use recyclable wrapping such as old posters, maps, paper grocery bags or the funny papers.
  • Wrap with attractive cloth, fabric ribbons or a reusable bag.
  • Use last year’s boxes, tissue paper, bows and ribbons.


  • Use durable tableware: dishes, cups, utensils, napkins, tablecloths, etc.
  • Recycle cans and bottles.
  • Compost food waste.

binnyLightsClean Up

  • Compost your pumpkins, gourds and poinsettias. You can also keep poinsettias as houseplants (they’ll bloom year after year).
  •  “Treecycle” your holiday tree, wreaths and garland (natural only).
  • Recycle your old or broken holiday lights.
  • Recycle packaging and cards.
  • Save boxes, tissue paper, bows and ribbons for next year.
  • Donate gently used items to charities or thrift stores.

For more information, visit or call 816-474-8326.

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Walk tall and breathe deep

idle-free school zone

By Doug Norsby, Air Quality Planner III

The trees are changing colors and the last few days of beautiful fall weather are upon us. Take this opportunity to get out and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature before the warm glow of sunlight is replaced with the white snow and cold winter days.

As you breathe in the cool fall air, take a moment to congratulate yourself on everything you’ve done this year to help protect our air quality. By walking instead of driving, you’re doing your part to keep the air — and yourself — healthier.

Consider these tips before you step out:

  • Trade a trip. Try walking instead of driving to destinations near home such as school, church or the park. At work, try walking to lunch or a nearby business meeting.
  • Choose your shoes. Running, cross-training or walking shoes? What are the differences and how do you choose the right ones? When should you replace shoes? When is the best time to test the fit of a new shoe? The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society has answers to all of these questions! A good fit is a critical part of enjoying your walk.
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