Tag Archives: gifts

The 12 Days of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and as wonderful as the holidays are, it’s also the time of year when people tend to generate tons of waste. While reducing, reusing, and recycling should be practiced year-round, it is even more important during the holidays when our waste is plenteous.

DHEC is challenging you to put these 12 recycling and waste reduction tips to use this holiday season.

  1. Keep a waste-free kitchen by taking a look around to determine what you already have on hand before going shopping. Make a list of things you need before heading to the store. Compost or donate your unwanted food and recycle your cooking oil. Find other helpful tips at dhec.sc.gov/dontwastefoodsc.
  2. Have hard-to-recycle items? Consider only buying materials packaged in what can be recycled in your area. Find where and what you can recycle at www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling.
  3. Give waste-less gifts like your time to clean someone’s house, piano or guitar lessons, gym memberships or certificates for pampering.newspaperwrap
  4. Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled, BUT you can reuse something to wrap with instead like paper bags, newspaper, maps or use reusable grocery bags, scarves or flower pots. Also reuse greeting cards to make gift tags.
  5. Stop the unwanted mail! Check out ecocycle.org/junkmail for six easy steps. Make sure to recycle mail with your paper as well.
  6. Prevent food waste this holiday by providing reusable containers or asking your guests to bring their own for leftovers.ledlights
  7. Use LED lights, which last 10 times longer and use 80 percent less energy. Recycle your old strings of lights. Find more information on hard-to-recycle items at scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling/WhatCanIRecycle/.
  8. Go with an eco-deco theme by decorating with natural materials like greenery, gourds, fresh fruit and pine cones — all which can be composted after the holidays.
  9. Set up a collection corner at your party by providing an area where guests can bring unwanted items to swap or donate.
  10. Always let your guests know what can be recycled and composted. Clearly mark your bins and let guests know where they’re located.
  11. Provide a green dining experience by using dishes and silverware instead of disposables. If you need more dishes for guests, shop thrift stores to find festive ones.christmastree
  12. Grind those greens. If you decorated a real tree and are ready for it to go, remember to find out where your county will be accepting them for grinding.

It is important to keep in mind the importance of conserving your waste before, during, and after the holidays.

For more tips and information on recycling and waste reduction, visit the DHEC website.

From Other Blogs: Healthy holiday eating tips, noise-induced hearing loss, lead hazards in holiday toys/jewelry and more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Five tips for healthy eating during the holidays

Holidays are a time for gathering with family and friends, enjoying each other’s company and food, lots of food! For most people who are trying to eat healthy, the holidays can be a challenge. Kristen Ziesmer, Palmetto Health’s Apex Athletic Performance sports dietitian, shares five tips to help you navigate healthy eating during the holidays. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

CDC’s Research on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

For nearly 50 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has researched noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace, providing guidelines to help reduce risk. In 2015, CDC received inquiries from both the public and medical community about noise-induced hearing loss in non-workplace settings.

In 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released “Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability.” This report included a request that government agencies strengthen publicly available, evidence-based information on hearing loss and hearing health care. In response, CDC not only started research efforts but also raised awareness about the fact that excessive exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent hearing damage, and that taking simple steps can prevent noise-induced hearing loss. — From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment blog

Lead Hazards in Some Holiday Toys and Toy Jewelry

Many children get toys and toy jewelry as gifts during the holiday season but some toys may contain lead hazards. Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell.

Children may be exposed to lead by simply handling toys normally. It is normal for toddlers and infants to put toys, fingers and other objects in their mouths. They may also be exposed to lead this way. — From the CDC’s Your Health — Your Environment blog

Time Management: The Key to a Food Safe Holiday

The holiday season is a prized time; it’s that festive season that seems to be here before you know it, and you wonder how you will find the time to do everything you need to do to celebrate properly with family and friends. The holidays are also when we share favorite, treasured foods with our loved ones. — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

By Adrianna Bradley

Tis the season for giving and while Santa is preparing to bring the hottest and trendiest toys to children for Christmas, DHEC wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 there were more than 174,100 toy-related ER-treated injuries associated with toys to children younger than 15 years of age.

DHEC wants parents to choose holiday toys with care. Check out these toy safety tips to keep your children safe this holiday season.

10 Toy Safety Tips

  • Always pay close attention to the age recommendations on toys and choose one according to a child’s age, interest, and skill level. Also, be aware of other safety labels such as “Flame retardant/flame resistant” or “Washable/Hygienic materials” on dolls and other stuffed toys.
  • Discard the plastic wrappings from toys immediately; they become deadly playthings to small children.
  • For children 1 and under, choose toys that are colorful, lightweight, have various textures and are made of non-toxic materials. Children, this age learn through sight, touch, sound and taste and often put things into their mouths to explore them.
  • Don’t give young children any toys with small parts, such as removable eyes, noses, etc.; they are choking hazards.
  • Inspect all toys for sharp points or edges made from such materials as metal or glass. These toys should not be given to children under 8 years of age. This includes stuffed animals with wires that could stab, cut or shock if exposed.
  • Toys with strings, cords or ribbons of any kind should not be hung in cribs or playpens. Young children can become entangled, which can cause injury or death.
  • Teach older children to keep their toys that might have removable small parts, sharp points or toys run on electricity out of reach of younger siblings. Young children are very curious and may investigate toys that aren’t appropriate for them.
  • Keep toys and play equipment in good condition, make sure protective gear fits appropriately and discard any toys that are broken to prevent injuries.
  • Supervision is essential; provide safe hazard-free play environments both indoors and outdoors. Toys get used and abused by children; regularly conduct a toy maintenance check for safety and durability.
  • Teach children early to put toys away when they are finished playing with them. This will prevent accidental falls.

For more information on toy safety, you can visit our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/ChildTeenHealth/EarlyChildhood/PreventInjuries/.

Watch the video below for a quick review of the 10 toy safety tips: