Are you ready for spring?

Warmer weather is here so pack away those sweaters and coats and get your closet ready for spring. While you’re at it, take a moment to set aside clothes you no longer wear or that your kids have outgrown. Hmmm, now that the closest is clean, what about the garage, or the attic. How about those toys, books and games no one plays with anymore?

Well, now it seems a spring cleaning is in full swing. Once you decide you can live without it, what do you do with it? Can you donate it, recycle it or should it be landfilled? We’ve highlight our top 5 most viewed articles to help you clean house this spring.

1. Recycling Dilemma: Got Stuff?  From bulky items that don’t fit in the trash bin, to scrap metal, appliances and light bulbs, find out how to properly dispose of it all in this quick read.

2. Recycle Right, Recycle Often Need a quick refresher on what CAN and CAN’T go in your curbside recycling bin?

3. Moving Boxes and Oversized Cardboard Did you know that Waste Management has a special pick-up day each month for your village to collect cardboard boxes at the curb?

4. To Bag or Not To Bag  You may have heard, plastic bags create havoc when placed in your recycling cart. For more information on why and what you can do with your clean bags and film, read To Bag or Not To Bag.

5. Resolution for a Greener Year Beyond just spring cleaning, what other actions can you take to reduce, reuse and recycle at home?

For a complete list of resource, visit The Woodlands Township Recycling and Solid Waste  or email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Earth Day GreenUp Registration Closes Soon

Online registration closes soon! If you have a large group, save time on event day and register online here.

Volunteer walk-ups are welcome on event day. Paper registration forms will be available at the event site. Everyone must have a signed waiver to participate. Children under 18 must have a parent or guardian to sign the waiver.

For event details of the 10th annual Earth Day GreenUp, read this recent blog post.

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Save the date!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Pre-registration is open!

Join neighbors, family and friends at the 10th annual Earth Day GreenUp on March 21st. Volunteer to beautify our community by picking up litter on pathways, waterways and greenbelts. After your hard work, celebrate at Northshore Park with free pizza, live music and a special 10-year anniversary t-shirt. Together, residents will keep The Woodlands beautiful and protect natural areas for wildlife by helping in this community stewardship project.

Registration is available online at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/greenup through March 9th. Walk-up registration is also welcome the morning of the event, starting at 8 a.m. A limited number of trash grabbers and vests will be available for loan to groups that pre-register on the website.

Disposable gloves, trash bags, water bottles, instructions and maps to cleanup sites will be provided at check-in. Participants are encouraged to bring reusable work gloves and a reusable water bottle to reduce waste.

The after party at Northshore Park, 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive, will feature local environmental organizations hosting fun activities and information on how you can make everyday Earth Day. Meet wildlife ambassadors, rock out with Let them Drum, explore new recycling and water saving opportunities and be sure to steer clear of the Bag Monster! Volunteers will receive a commemorative T-shirt and be treated to pizza. Beverages will be available, but remember to bring your own water bottle. Food tickets will be on sale to the general public.


Pre-register through Monday, March 9 at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/greenup

Check-in: Saturday, March 21, 8 to 10 a.m. at a location near you. Walk-ups welcome.

  • Alden Bridge: Alden Bridge Park
  • Cochran’s Crossing: Shadowbend Park
  • College Park: Harper’s Landing Park
  • Creekside Park: Rob Fleming Aquatic Center
  • Grogan’s Mill: Sawmill Park
  • Indian Springs: Falconwing Park
  • Panther Creek: Ridgewood Park
  • Sterling Ridge: Cranebrook Park

GreenUp: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Celebrate: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northshore Park

More Info: Call Environmental Services at 281-210-3800

The GreenUp celebration begins at 11 a.m. at Northshore Park

Repurpose this holiday season

60% off holiday decorations! How can you pass up those savings? But, if you’re like most of us, you already have an attic full of boxes of cards, lights, and ornaments. They might be worn but they still have life. Consider repurposing them into something new this holiday season. Don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips to get you started.

Holiday Cards

Many of us are guilty of keeping piles of holiday cards from loved ones. Too difficult to toss out warm wishes and photos of the family in matching outfits. Bring those memories out of the box and give them new life.

  • Coasters  Perfect for your ugly sweater party. Check out this great tutorial here.
  • Tree Garland  With a little rope and glue you can turn those cards into garland for your tree or mantel.  Here’s how.
  • Gift tags Personalize gifts with a handmade gift tag by following these simple instructions.  

Trees

Real or artificial, trees are an essential part of the holidays.  After presents are opened and ornaments packed away, what will you do with your tree?  Before you toss it to the curb, or buy a bigger, better version, consider one of the following.

Recycle Natural Trees Donate it to The Woodlands Township. The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park will have a designated area in the parking lot to drop natural trees from December 26, 2019 through January 7, 2020. Donated trees will be ground into chips to help refurbish the forest floor. Trees must be completely clean before drop-off. Remove any tinsel, decorations or any other materials that would litter the forest floor. Flocked (white) natural trees and artificial trees will not be accepted.

Natural trees are also available for curbside pickup by Waste Management. Remove all decorations, lights and tree stands and place at the curb on your service day. Natural trees will be composted, just like your yard trimmings that get picked up every week.  If you have a flocked tree, please call 1-800-800-5804, at least two days before your service day to schedule a bulk pick up. Flocked trees must be landfilled. 

Or, check out these creative ways to use your tree year round.

  • Log Wreath Perfect for Fall. Cut your tree into thin wood slices and follow the tutorial here.
  • Branch Tree From the Queen of Craft herself, Martha Stewart shows you how to reuse branches to display ornaments beyond the life of your tree.
  • Bird Feeder Stick your tree in the ground or keep it in the stand. Decorate your tree with stale bread, pinecones rolled in peanut butter and bird seed, or strings of popcorn and cranberry seeds.

Repurpose Artificial Trees If you have a broken artificial tree or have upgraded to a bigger, better version don’t kick it to the curb without trying one of these simple crafts.

  • Garland with Lights With a little elbow grease, some ribbon and a strand of lights, your artificial tree will transform into beautiful garland to trim your doorway, mantel or windows.
  • Snowflakes It may not snow much around here, but this step-by-step guide will show you how to create a winter wonderland with your very own snowflakes using two branches from your artificial tree.
  • Holiday Swags Upcycle your artificial tree and create beautiful swags to hang around the house.  This video walks you through how easy it is to make these festive decorations.

Lights

It’s inevitable, you finally finish hanging all the lights, plug in the tree and nothing happens. Loose wiring? Broken bulb? Bad extension cord? Do you check each light, one by one, or just run to the store and buy more? If you find that you have accumulated a few years’ worth of lights, try some of these DIY projects and shine a light on the joys of upcycling this season.

  • If you’ve upgraded to LEDs and have a strand or two of the old incandescent lights, save those torpedo-shaped bulbs and turn them into glitter-adorned ornaments. Watch this video and don’t forget to recycle used ribbon to hang your new ornament from the tree.
  • Hula Hoop Chandelier Have you found yourself with too many strands of lights? Get creative and personalize your home with this handmade chandelier.
  • Light Repair Why not try to fix something before throwing it away? This article will help you get your lights back in working order.
Strands of lights are not recyclable through your curbside service but can be taken to Precinct 3 to be recycled

Many of these repurposed items also make wonderful gifts. So when you are cleaning out the garage, attic or storage unit, take some time and consider if you can turn old into new again and repurpose your holiday decorations.

Already a DIY’er? Leave a reply at the bottom of the page and let us know how you repurpose or recycle your holiday decorations.

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Guide

The best gifts come in sustainable packages!

Approximately 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper is produced in the U.S. each year with 2.3 million pounds ending up in the landfill.

Holiday wrapping paper is often coated in plastic or foil causing it to be non-recyclable. If the wrapping paper is metallic, has glitter on it, or has a texture to it, it is not recyclable. Gift wrap mistakenly put in the recycling cart harms the value of other collected paper at the recycling center.

Beautiful paper like these: glitter, metallic, textured and reversible are NOT recyclable wrapping papers.

If it feels like plain paper, not slick or wax coated, or is made from recycled paper, then it’s a wrapping paper that can be recycled.  Another way to test recyclability is to crush the paper into a ball. If it stays bunched up, it is likely recyclable.

An eco-friendly gift is thoughtful for the recipient and the planet! Check out these tips for a greener holiday.

Reusable Gift Wrap and Recycled Paper

If the holiday rush has you hustling and there’s no time for crafting, consider purchasing a reusable alternative. Fabric gift wraps, nice tea towels, scarves and bandannas make excellent choices.

For wrapping boxes, try using found newspaper or purchasing wrapping paper made with recycled content.  Really get in to the recycling spirit with these two simple crafts and make your own gift box or hand-made bow this holiday season.


Shopping Bag Bow

Materials:

  • Paper – shopping bag, newspaper, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Double-sided tape

Instructions:

Cut your paper into nine strips, each ¾ of an inch wide. Next, measure and cut the length. You’ll need three strips that are 11” long, three strips that are 10” long, two strips that are 9” long and 1 strip that is 3 1/2” long.

Using one strip of paper at a time, twist each end toward the center until they meet in the middle and create a loop. Secure the ends in place with double-sided tape. Repeat with the remaining eight strips, with the exception of the 3 ½” inch strip; loop that one into a circle.

Start with the three longest strips of paper and begin stacking in descending order by size; largest on the bottom. Secure each loop in place with tape. Finish with the circle loop in the center. Attach your bow on top of your gift wrapped in recyclable paper.


Create a Gift Box

Turn any recycled card stock into a gift box. Find old record covers, cereal boxes, or old shipping boxes and make a custom box for a loved one.

Materials:

  • Card Stock
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hot glue or double-sided tape

Instructions for an 8 inch square box:

Trim two pieces of card stock into a square that is 12″ wide and long.

For the top: Draw a line 2″ wide on each side. For the bottom: Draw a line 2 1/4″ wide on each side. Press firmly to score lines but not too hard or you might cut or tear the card stock. See image below.

Use scissors to lightly score along the lines

Cut alternating flaps as marked on the image below. Fold along all four scored lines on each piece of card stock. Use glue or tape to secure each corner flap inside the longer, side piece of the box. 

Use clothespins to secure corners while glue is drying

Once glue dries or the corners are secured with tape, you have a custom, upcycled box to fill with a special gift for friends, family or the holiday gift swap at the office.

Questions? Contact our staff at enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov