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Press release from CNW Group

Prairies Start to Adopt Green Holiday Traditions

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Prairies Start to Adopt Green Holiday Traditions10:00 EST Wednesday, December 07, 2011Small changes lead to big impact in waste reduction and energy conservation during the holiday season.CALGARY, Dec. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - According to a recent Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by Waste Management looking at Canadians' environmental practices during the holidays, the Prairies are starting to adopt some new, green holiday traditions.The survey showed that Prairie residents have a relatively good awareness of waste reducing programs in their communities but can improve when it comes to green practices during the holidays. Impressively, nine out of ten (91%) people in the Prairies know that they can recycle their Christmas trees after the holiday season. But there are still some improvements to be made in the gift-wrapping department as only 5 per cent said they are using recyclable wrapping paper for their gifts."When wrapping presents, look for alternatives to buying new or non-recyclable wrapping paper," said Chris LeMasitre, Waste Management spokesperson. "Recycling and reusing wrapping paper or gift bags will cut your costs and ensure that leftover paper does not go to waste."When it comes to Christmas decorations, survey findings revealed that more than half (58%) of Prairie residents are decorating their homes with energy efficient LED lights, a higher proportion than in both Quebec (42%) and British Columbia (56%)."LED tree lights can save 90 per cent more energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights," said LeMasitre. "With a lifespan of approximately 20,000 hours, they can last for 40 holiday seasons! LED lights also burn less hot and reduce any risk associated with burns or fires."When shopping during the holidays, 46 per cent of Prairie residents are bringing their own reusable shopping bags, but 24 per cent are still purchasing plastic bags that often make their way in to the waste stream.While there are improvements still to be made, overall, the survey encouragingly revealed that most Canadians across the country are making efforts to prepare for a green Christmas, as awareness for waste-reducing strategies continues to grow.Useful tips from Waste Management for a green Christmas include:Consider substituting your family's paper holiday greeting card with a digital version.Remember to bring reusable shopping bags with you to the mall as well as the grocery store, to help reduce the amount of plastic bags in the waste stream.When those new toys come in, make sure the old ones do not end up in the trash. Find a local consignment store or shelter where you can donate old, working devices and clothing.Don't be shy, re-gift! Re-gifting unwanted presents cuts back on holiday spending and waste.Recycle your Christmas tree! Many communities have tree-mulching programs that will compost your tree after the holidays. Contact your community's works department to find out if there's a program in your community.The full Ipsos Reid survey results can be found at: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5425 ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENTWaste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company's customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.For further information: Waste Management Chris LeMasitre CLynch6@wm.com  Media: Kate Longmoore Kate.longmoore@cohnwolfe.ca