by Mike Ohrberg
Besides turkey, cooler weather and the country’s biggest shopping day, November is also America Recycles Month. The Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to show your thanks by giving back to the planet, your community and your family. Whether you are planning a fancy affair or a simple gathering, here are some ideas to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE this month.
- REDUCE FOOD WASTE: What to do with all those leftovers? Instead of trashing everything, be creative. Freeze individual servings that can be thawed and served at a moment’s notice. For weeks after Thanksgiving, you will be glad to have a quick, homemade meal at your fingertips. For food that must be thrown out, consider learning how to compost.
- USE REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS: Your shopping list for Thanksgiving is probably larger than a normal week’s menu. Grab those recyclable bags and use them!
- RECYLE CANS: Whether its cranberries, cocktails or colas, rinse and save all cans and containers and recycle them. Most local residents have curbside recycling. If you don’t, there are several recycle locations throughout the Inland Valley.
- REDUCE PAPER WASTE: Pitch the paper this season and use cloth instead. Cloth napkins can be folded into fun little decorations that will transform your table.
- REUSE DECORATIONS: A beautiful centerpiece can complete the festive look of a Thanksgiving table, but there’s no need to break the bank with a store-bought creation. Design an edible decoration you can reuse after the holiday.
- RESTORE: Forget the ridiculous early morning shopping hours on Black Friday. Shop the ReStore for everything from new appliances, beautiful rugs, furniture and now, gift cards. We are pleased to announce that we now offer gift cards to national merchants at both of our ReStore locations. Much like the “gift card malls” you see at the grocery store, the ReStores offer gift cards to major retailers like Target, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble and many more. The difference in purchasing gift cards through your local ReStore is that Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley will receive a percentage of the purchase as a donation.
As the Inland Valley’s authority on “green” initiatives, we favor gift cards because they are small gifts that don’t require wrapping paper, large gift boxes or other materials that may end up in our local landfills. Also, did you know that gift cards can be recycled after they are used? Yet another great reason to “go with gift cards”! No matter how you choose to celebrate, the entire team at Habitat for Humanity wishes to thank all of the businesses and individuals that have supported us throughout the year. We hope that you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Mike Ohrberg is the Director of Restores. Shop or donate your unwanted household items to the Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley ReStores. The Temecula ReStore is located at 27479 Enterprise Circle West. The Lake Elsinore ReStore is located at 570 Central Avenue, Suite I. Habitat for Humanity will pick up your donations, if needed. For more information, visit www.habitat4inlandvalley.org.