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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Cheers to Zero Waste Holidays and Beyond

November 22, 2021 - by Sandy Vo

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
Cheers to Zero Waste Holidays and Beyond

This holiday season, save the planet! Nationwide, between November and January, we throw away a million tons of extra garbage. The City of Bellevue wants to do better, informing the community about their Zero Waste Holiday Program through helpful guides, classes and fun activities. Erin Hislop, City of Bellevue’s conservation & outreach program administrator, said their goal is to have zero waste all year round.

“We’re looking for alternative ways to be more mindful of what we’re throwing in the garbage along with ways to reduce waste overall,” she said. “We still want you to create great holiday memories and experiences; it’s just about rethinking how we do things.”

The issue can’t be solved alone. Hislop states this is a city-wide effort, partnering with events like the Bellevue Farmer's Market and the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink presented by Symetra. At these events, they'll be sharing zero waste tips and giving out handy tools to help the community save during the holidays. Stop by the ice rink on Nov. 29 from 4-7 p.m, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m and Dec. 10 from 4-7 p.m. to get fun, sustainable swag.

“We’ll be on-site at these events handing out items made from recyclable materials that assist residents with reducing waste and recycling right," Hislop said. "The City has given out items such as reusable tote bags made from 100% recyclable plastic bottles, pencils made of recycled newspapers, sample compostable biobags for kitchen food scrap containers, and more. These items are great tools to help residents take everyday actions to support a sustainable and zero-waste Bellevue."

The City of Bellevue will also be working with Bellevue libraries to offer 'eco-book bingo' this winter, challenging youths to complete zero waste tasks and learn more about protecting the planet. The City is also working with several condos and apartment buildings to help residents learn more about sustainability.

“I hope folks consider a more sustainable season this winter," Hislop said. "And by partnering with the community, I hope they know that the City is here to help. When we say we care about conservation, we mean it.”

While the holiday season is the focus for the program, the effort for zero waste goes beyond the Season of Cheer.

After the holidays, the City will offer free Greener Living classes for interested residents to learn more about zero waste and other sustainable living topics. They will also continue coming to city events and community locations to provide as many tips and tools as necessary. To learn more about this program, please visit the City of Bellevue's zero waste holiday guide for a more sustainable season. Below are small ways you can help save the planet this winter.

  • Wrap with reusables: Save durable items like bags, boxes and bows for a second use, or use reusable cloth wrappings! Make it a family game to find the most creative zero-waste wrapping.
  • Flatten and recycle cardboard boxes: Save space and keep cardboard clean and dry to ensure boxes can be made into new products.
  • Ditch disposables: Say no to single-use plastic straws, utensils and water bottles. A few extra dishes can save a ton of plastic waste from landfills.
  • Limit leftovers Send guests home with leftovers in reusable containers and store leftovers for longer-lasting freshness.
  • Remember to recycle when the holiday is over: Most wrapping paper can be recycled in your curbside cart, and you can compost your holiday tree and other greenery. Many organizations also offer holiday light recycling.

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.