Don't 'waste' the holidays away!


Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, American household waste increases by more than 25 percent.

Here are four zero waste and eco-friendly gift ideas from San Diego County’s ReThink Waste that can make the holidays more meaningful:

1.      Make a donation to a charity on behalf of someone.

2.      Give the gift of time (e.g. whale watching trip, a meal at a restaurant, etc.).

3.      Give gifts that support the recipient’s lifestyle goals (e.g. cooking classes, gym membership, etc.).

4.      For children, give responsibly sourced gifts that inspire creativity and imaginative play.

Visit the Holiday Waste website for more details.

The holiday season can also lead many households to increase online ordering, which means more cardboard boxes. Find tips here to reduce, reuse, and recycle cardboard boxes.

The County is taking steps to reduce future waste in the unincorporated area by preparing to collect organic materials in 2021. The Board of Supervisors adopted a 75% waste diversion target by 2025 and zero-waste, or 90% diversion, by 2040 for the unincorporated county. This action will be achieved through implementation of the Strategic Plan to Reduce Waste. The Climate Action Plan supports the achievement of increased waste diversion through the adopted 80% waste diversion target by 2030.

The Strategic Plan to Reduce Waste contains over 15 individual programs and initiatives focused on waste prevention, reuse, repair, recycling, composting, and more. Targeted materials for diversion include traditional recyclables, yard trimmings, food scraps, compostable paper, and construction and demolition debris.

Some of the recent waste reduction achievements of the County include:

·        60% total unincorporated county waste diverted in 2017

·        200+ annual workshops helping schools, residents, and businesses reduce, reuse and recycle 

·        6,400+ recycling bins and 196 compost bins distributed to schools, residents, and businesses in 2018

·        3,900+ tires collected at four separate tire recycling events in 2018

·        5,318 residents and businesses assisted online with recycling and hazardous waste disposal inquiries, by phone, and in-person

·        The Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative published the Food Donation Action Plan for the San Diego region

·        Distributed a Food Waste Prevention & Donation Newsletter