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A Note from Jane

December is a big month for recycling. Think of all those holiday cards, boxes and party beverage containers. Be sure you “recycle right.”

Ordering Gifts
Order early and refuse fast shipping to minimize the extra environmental cost.

Giving a Book
Consider Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
NPR says:  Hawking’s parting gift to humanity . . . a book every thinking person worried about humanity’s future should read.

Giving Clothing
Check out this Textile Companies Report Card.
Stuffing Stockings
Lowes Foods has its own line of trail mixes named after hiking trails in the Carolinas, like Jones Gap Falls Trail Mix and Fire Tower Trail Mix.

As part of Lowes Foods’ Brown Bag collection, they have no artificial flavors or sweeteners, preservatives, synthetic colors, MSG, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.

Eating Out
Choose a restaurant with sustainable practices. Columbia’s Rosewood Market uses compostable cups, lids, straws, utensils, bowls and more.

During October, they diverted 1,287 lbs. of waste that Atlas Organic composted back into nutrient soil.

Looking for outdoor holiday fun?
Take advantage of South Carolina’s bounty of hiking trails.
Try these:
Congaree National Park 🚙 ~30 minutes from downtown Columbia
Rainbow Falls | 🚙 ~2.5 hours from Columbia
Caesars Head | 🚙 ~2.5 hours from Columbia
Or, find a trail in your neighborhood!

Read on for even more ways to sustain our great planet during the busiest time of year! 

Happy Holidays,
Jane Hiller
Education Director, Sonoco Recycling

Sustainable News


Reusing comes even before recycling!
These items are needed for education projects:
  • Used manila envelopes and file folders to make upcycled Winter Solstice lanterns. Contact Jane Hiller
  • Plastic water bottles with lids to make planters at the 2020 Palmetto Sportsman’s Classic. Contact Brooke Myres to arrange for pickup or delivery.

Arbor Month

December is Arbor month in South Carolina, and Midlands’ residents will soon be seeing a lot of newly planted trees.
  • A TD grant funded 40 new trees and bushes along St Andrews Road. In the process, Jacq Buck, executive director of Keep the Midlands Beautiful, was recognized as a Mungo Homes Community Builder. See more here.
  • A PalmettoPride Grant funded 116 new trees (see below), including crape myrtles, redbuds, sawtooth oaks, dogwoods and live oaks to plant at Lexington County facilities. The Solid Waste Management team is planting 56 of the trees at the 11 Collection and Recycling Centers and at the Edmund Landfill.
    • The Community Development team is planting the other 60 trees at various county facilities including all 10 libraries, animal services, four magistrate’s offices and four public works facilities.
    • Lexington County tree expert, Vance Volmer, will be overseeing the project, and everyone is looking forward to the positive impacts the trees will have in our communities.

Did You Know?

Planting trees can bring many helpful benefits to our community: 
  • Air Quality: Trees remove carbon gasses from the atmosphere.
  • Cooling Effect: Trees lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade.
  • Public Health: Trees offer protection from UV rays.
  • Increase Property Value: Front yard and street trees can increase home values.

Planting the "right" native plants 

Thanks to our EEASC friend Dan Hill at Kalmia Gardens for sharing this research:

We teach "right plant, right place," but there is much to learn about the suitability for a native plant or cultivar in different landscapes, from a window box in the city, to a driveway border in the suburbs, to a large-scale restoration planting in a preserve. Last year, researchers from 12 different institutions gathered at Mt. Cuba Center to try to tackle this issue. Their research is now summarized online.

This research lays groundwork for future studies about native plants and their ecological value in the landscape. It follows another study which found that many cultivars of native plants are just as attractive a food source for leaf-eating insects as their wild counterparts, except in cases where the nativar—that is, native plant cultivar—has been altered to produce darker-colored foliage.

Upcoming Events 

Sustainable Holiday Market
Volunteers are needed!

Time: 4:30p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: 701 Whaley
To volunteer, contact jason@SUSTAINABLEMIDLANDS.ORG


Craft & Draft Fundraising Event for Gills Creek Watershed                                                                              

EEASC Green Messaging Table
First Thursday “Christmas Around the World Event.”

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia Art Center, 1227 Taylor St.
To volunteer, contact Jane Hiller


Richland Soil and Water Conservation District’s Arbor Day Celebration  

Location: LW Conder Elementary School
To volunteer, provide student or classroom giveaways, or provide a financial sponsorship contact: Chanda Cooper


Grinding of the Greens drop-off days to recycle Christmas trees into free mulch.

Free mulch from Grinding of the Greens will be available at Seven Oaks Park and at the State Farmers Market.



Clemson Extension will offer a streambank repair workshop for landscapers and homeowners in early 2020. Please send site suggestions for streambanks in need of repair!

Contact: Karen Jackson

Plan Ahead

FEBRUARY 18, 2020
Adopt-A-Stream workshop at Clemson Research and Education Center.

Time: 9:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.

FEBRUARY 29, 2020
Regional Recycling event at Riverbanks Zoo with Keep the Midlands Beautiful, the City of Columbia and Lexington County. Will accept tires, electronics, paper shredding, cooking oil, Goodwill donations and scrap metal.
Copyright © 2019 Sonoco Recycling, All rights reserved.

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