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Tips to reduce, reuse, recycle offered

OREGON – Making plans to host an Independence Day gathering?

The Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department encourages everyone to put some green in their red, white, and blue with the following tips:

■ Forget the disposable plates, cups and plastic ware. Opt to use normal tableware, reusable plastic, or compostable ware.

■ Have everyone bring a favorite cup and use it throughout the party. It will cut down on who’s cup is who’s and garbage.

■ Use cloth napkins and tablecloths rather than paper products.

■ Buy 2 liter bottles rather than individual cans. Mark initials on cups and cans with markers.

■ Save and reuse decorations. Buy small U.S. flags and place them in pots for centerpieces. After the holiday, donate them to cemeteries or nursing homes. Use a living plant for a centerpiece and plant it afterward.

■Compost kitchen scraps, rather than throw them into the garbage.

■ Set up a recycling container next to the trash can. People are more likely to recycle when it is convenient.

Recycle aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, clean aluminum foil, and cardboard. Flatten all cardboard boxes; crush plastic bottles and place the cap back on the bottle so the cap gets recycled too.

■ Buy locally and take advantage of fresh produce at the farmers markets. A tremendous amount of fuel is used to transport food many miles, not to mention all the carbon emissions that are given off.

■ When shopping for supplies, carry a reusable tote bag. It is usually stronger and larger than grocery bags.

■ If using a caterer, take the serving dishes to them. That way the caterers won’t use disposable platters.

■ Rent items such as chairs, tables, and tablecloths, rather than purchasing them new.

■ Have a party during a cooler part of the day, such as dusk or evening to save on energy costs.

■ Encourage guests to carpool.

Help to coordinate the sharing of rides.

■ Rather than use plastic water bottles, store water in large pitchers.

For more information on how to green a celebration, call Joyce Blinton at the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department at 815-732-4020.

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