The ULS Report
Helping people conserve resources and reduce waste by Using Less
December 1994 Volume I, Number 5
THE 12 ULS TIPS OF CHRISTMAS
As you can imagine, we buy and throw away a lot of stuff at holiday
time: food, wrapping paper, boxes, bags, ribbons and cards, to name
but a few items. And let's not forget that now-forlorn Christmas tree
and quite possibly all of those Hawaiian print ties and Argyle socks
from Great Aunt Jennie. (Where does she find all that junk, anyway?)
Now's a great time to think about using less. Here are a dozen simple
ways you can reduce waste without feeling like a Scrooge:
A happy and safe holiday to all of you, from all of us at The ULS
- Wrap gifts in old street and subway maps, Sunday comics or any other
colorful paper you have around the house. You can even match the
paper graphics to the gift inside!
- Wrap gifts to grandparents in their grandchildrens' artwork,
schoolwork etc. This will not only save you from having to buy gift
wrap, but it will probably keep the wrap you create from ever being
- Save and reuse satin ribbons. Remember, it's not just the ribbon that
you save, it's the spools you keep out of the trash, too.
- Send presents to adults on your list in reusable gift bags and boxes.
Old tins are ideal for this.
- Not sure what to get someone? How about a gift certificate to a book
or department store? That way, you know the gift will be kept.
- Make sure Santa and his reindeer eat the cookies and carrots that your
children leave out. (A light Christmas Eve dinner will help. Right,
- Buying a live tree? How about one in a pot that you can plant later in
the year? Otherwise, your tree may end up in a landfill.
- Don't really care about a live tree? Buy an artificial one. They've
become quite realistic looking. And over 10 years, you save 10 trees!
- Have lots of old clothes around the house? Cover a large, heavy
cardboard box with leftover fabric. Fill it with old clothes, hats, scarves
and costume jewelry. Instant dress-up trunk!
- Before you throw away or recycle all of those gift catalogs, take a
minute to pick out the ones you don't want to receive anymore. Call
their toll-free numbers NOW and ask to get off their list.
- Save money and energy while reducing fire hazards by putting your
tree and outdoor lights on timers. (Who's looking at 3 a.m. anyway?)
- Give your children (and your parents!) something they really want and
something that wastes no resources -- your time and love.
Top 5 ULS Resolutions for the New Year
- Find ways to reduce paper usage at home and work.
- Compost everything you can!
- Buy products in large sizes, concentrated form,
flexible packages and reusable containers.
- Walk, take public transportation, ride your bike.
- Turn off the lights and turn down the heat.
Here are a few of the latest developments that can help reduce waste
and save resources:
- Gem of an idea -- Recording company Celestial Harmonies packages
its CDs in streamlined plastic jewel boxes that reduce material up to
60% by volume and 34% by weight versus traditional CD packaging.
You get more music per inch and less packaging per CD. Call 602-326-
4400 in Tucson, AZ for more info.
- Fashionable way to reduce -- In New York for the holidays? Check out
the "Hello Again" exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Items
include a vest made from college pennants, a coat from men's
neckties, and jewelry from old bottle caps and phone wire.
- Sunny outlook for solar power -- Houston-based Enron Corp. claims a
way to cheaply mass-produce photovoltaic panels, making the price of
solar power more competitive with other energy sources. The
company plans to build a plant in the Nevada desert that will generate
enough solar energy to power a city of 100,000 people. Operations are
expected to begin in 1996.
How About a Useless Stuff Column?
Did you get many silly gifts this Christmas? A doggie bomber jacket or
electric nose hair clippers, perhaps? A spring loaded salad chopper?
Maybe a videocassette winder shaped like a car? What are the most
useless things you received, saw or read about? Let us know. We'll
start a new column in the next issue.
Many thanks to our Internet reader community for their input
regarding this idea.
The ULS Report is a bi-monthly publication of Partners for Environmental
Address e-mail correspondence to ULS@cygnus-group.com.
Snail mail address: P.O. Box 130116 Ann Arbor MI 48113
Editor: Robert Lilienfeld
Technical Advisor: Dr. William Rathje
Editorial Advisor: Tony Kingsbury
Feel free to reduce, reuse and recycle this newsletter and its contents.
(But please give appropriate credit when referencing our material.)
Copyright 1994, Partners for Environmental Progress.