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Eco-Pokes Holiday Sustainability Tips Offered

December 8, 2014

The University of Wyoming Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC) is offering money-saving tips during the holiday season.

CSC recently launched Eco-Pokes, an initiative to provide easy tips for how students, staff and faculty can reduce their impact on the environment -- and wallets. The CSC also provides updates about opportunities to get involved on campus and in the community.

Listed are the second in the regularly scheduled tips:

Eco-Pokes Tip No. 2: The holiday season often results in more – more energy use, more stuff, more food and more waste, says Nicole Korfanta and Jim Scott, co-chairs of the CSC committee. Here are a few ideas for celebrating the season more sustainably:

-- Wrapping paper. Non-metallic wrapping paper and all cardboard gift boxes can be recycled through both campus and city recycling programs. Go one step further and reuse gift bags/boxes, tissue paper, bows and old newspaper instead of using new wrapping materials.

-- Decorations. Join in the local tradition of cutting your own tree from the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service provides permits and guidelines. When the season is over, use the city of Laramie’s free curbside tree pickup to ensure trees are chipped into mulch and made available for residential use. You also can find gently used decorations at local thrift stores.

-- Lights. Consider swapping out incandescent lights for LED holiday lights, a great energy saving option that has decreased in cost in recent years. Incandescent holiday lights may be recycled at Ace Hardware and other locations as part of the Lights for Life fundraiser for sick kids. Using a timer for all holiday lights ensures that they don’t remain on at all times, saving energy and money.

-- Food. Seek out more sustainable holiday food by supporting local farmers and focusing on seasonal foods. Local products can be found at the Big Hollow Food Co-Op, the Triple Crown Commodities Cooperative, the Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market and elsewhere.

-- Consumption. Support local businesses this season. There are many gift options that are made locally, minimize packaging or are made with recycled materials. You also can reduce your consumption altogether by giving experiential gifts focused on local excursions. And, ‘tis the season for sharing. Donations can be made to a variety of local organizations and efforts, such as UW’s Holiday Food Drive and the coat drive at the Wyoming Union information desk.

For additional tips, visit the CSC Facebook page for a monthlong “Countdown to a Sustainable New Year.”

On and Around Campus

-- Cellphone recycling event: Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Wyoming Union breezeway (free pizza for those who donate).

The Campus Sustainability Committee advances sustainability at UW and the broader community by promoting sustainability awareness, using campus as a living laboratory, and maintaining accountability for UW’s American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Contact the committee at uwsustainability@uwyo.edu.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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