Arcata Shares ‘Zero Waste Tips for Buying Less and Celebrating More This Holiday Season’

This is a press release from the City of Arcata:

Arcata, CA – The City of Arcata’s Environmental Services Department encourages all community members to consider going zero waste when planning their holiday celebrations.

Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, we throw away 25 percent more waste than any other time of year, adding up to 25 million extra tons of garbage in the United States.

To keep the holiday season merry for the environment, the City’s Environmental Services Department has some tips on how to reduce holiday waste.

1. Give gifts which can be distributed without excess wrapping like homemade gifts or the gift of a home-cooked meal or a massage.

2. Give “experience” gifts like concert tickets, a spa package or yoga classes. Arcata Recreation offers several activity classes for children and teens that would make wonderful holiday gifts.

3. High quality, reusable bags, lunch kits and water bottles make wonderful gifts and will help your loved ones stylishly eliminate disposables from their lives. Stainless steel water bottles can even be purchased from the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center.

4. Purchase carbon offset gifts from the Arcata Community Forest. For just $10 per metric ton, you can offset your loved one’s holiday travel by helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Call the Environmental Services Department at 707-822-8184 for more information.

5. Consider shopping at thrift stores to find unique, gently used gifts and gift containers.

6. Use reusable gift bags and baskets as a replacement for wrapping paper. Send e-Cards and e-Newsletters help save on postage and paper waste.

7. When hosting a holiday party, be sure to get a good headcount so you can carefully plan all meals to help reduce food waste. Most food waste can be composted as long as it is not meat, bones or fat. Serve food on re-usable plates and utensils, ask your guests to bring reusable containers for leftovers and have a stash of re-usable containers on hand in case they forget.

8. Recycle “naked,” tinsel-free holiday trees at Mad River Compost, located at 6360 West End Road through Thursday, January 31.

9. If you need help hauling away your holiday tree, Arcata High School students will be offering curbside pickups, for a $10 fee, through Sunday, January 13. Please call 707-822-8325 to schedule a pickup.

10. Broken, old or outdated incandescent and LED holiday lights can be recycled by mailing them to any of the addresses below:

Christmas Light Source at Christmas Light Source Recycling Program, 4313 Elmwood Drive, Benbrook, TX, 76116

Holiday LEDS at Holiday LEDS Recycling, 2300 S. 170th Street, New Berlin, WI, 53151

Environmental LED at The LED Warehouse, Attn: Christmas Light Recycling, 109 E. Prairie Street, Vicksburg, MI, 49097

For more information on zero waste, call the Environmental Services Department at 707- 822-8184 or visit



  • Thank you for that great information Oliver.

  • All common sense rules to live by… until some control freak forces mandates.
    #7 on the list? Think Seattle.
    First they formed “Homeless Crisis Census” orgs.
    Next they outlaw the feeding of the homeless without a licence.
    Next they outlaw and fine the feeding of the homeless by tossing carefully wrapped prepared meals into dumpsters.
    Next they demand more tax money to “feed & shelter the homeless” because the greedy working class refuse to help enough.

    Just say no to any mandates. Use common sense.
    Thank you for the list of common sense tips, let’s keep it that way.

  • “Carbon offsets.” Hilarious. How about not driving your diesel sedan, yuppie radicals? And that hybrid SUV you adore so smugly created more pollution and waste in its manufacture than an internal combustion vehicle in a lifetime, and how about those toxic batteries? Solar power cells toxic, too. “Carbon offsets.” How about Stupid Offsets for the holidays? Every time your grey pony-tailed liberal friend flies to Mexico for his baja vacation, or tools around town in his smog-spewing Volks van, knock him on the head with a stale fruitcake. Makes a perfect gift!

  • Thanks for sharing a shout out for our recycling program!! We received almost 6000 pounds of lights and will use the recycling proceeds to purchase toys that we deliver to Toys for Tots.

    Another trend is Christmas tree rental where a live tree is returned at the end of each season then planted when it grows too big to be used indoors.

    If the weather allows, a Norfolk pine or similar tree that can be planted outdoors makes a great Christmas tree choice!

    Shellie Gardner
    Christmas Light Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *