Now is the time year that we all open up our boxes and bins in search of our holiday cheer. I cannot help but to think about that mass clump of lights that Clark Griswald of Christmas Vacation pulls from a box. He hands this huge knotted clump of lights over to his son Russ and says something like, “a little knot there”, when it could not have been a more impossible task to untangle.
I too have seen these knots no matter how carefully we put them away, and no matter what method we use or have tried. We still seem to not be able to find the end or untangle the set. The other major issue is that you can have a perfectly working string when you put them away, but by the next season when you gingerly pull them out, they have decided to work only partially or not at all. Now what to do with that non working string? Most of us have tossed these into our trash cans and they go to the landfill and fill up our land with what can now be recycled.
All participating Ace Hardware stores are taking holiday light strings beginning on the 15th of November. The Recycling Association of MN (RAM) is starting its 3rd season of recycling and will continue until the end of the holiday season.
Did you know that they can recycle every part of a light string? They recycle the lights, the string, the plug ins, everything! Last year they met their goal and this year are hoping to recycle 200,000 light strands. Obviously this is making a difference to the landfills, but it is also allowing us to reuse these materials and also to create employment to the workers who are paid to take these strings apart, to those who recycle the product and to those that turn these pieces into new items.
If you don’t have a local Ace Hardware such as Forest Lake and Wyoming Minnesota, you can go to www.RecycleMinnesota.org. for an interactive map that can guide you to a recycle center near you. Last year there were 400 locations taking part in this effort and this number will grow as the season goes on.
After you recycle your old strings, consider purchasing the new higher efficiency LED lights. “According to the Department of Energy, running LED holiday lights on one 6-foot tree for 12 hours per day for 40 days can save 90% or more energy when compared to traditional incandescent holiday lights”. In ending I wanted to share that they also recycle any type of electrical cord such as telephone, speaker and damaged extension cords. Make a trip to your local ACE hardware store with your old knot today! It will feel good!
Kim Woehl is a Realtor with Keller Williams Premier Realty in Forest Lake Minnesota. 651-214-1459 kwoehl.kwrealty.com
Are you excited to decorate for the holidays? Please share!