Go Green for the Holidays

MSU Surplus Books is a great place to find unique, collectible and vintage books for reuse.American households generate more waste between Thanksgiving and New Years Day than at any other time of the year.  However, there are numerous local resources to help keep your material out of the landfill.

Make your holidays Spartan Green by following these helpful ideas.


Buy Durable, Locally Produced Products

Many products made today are not meant to last.  Think about the long-term use of a product you are about to buy.  The cheapest item may not be the least expensive if you have to replace it.

Tip: Buy a gift card to the MSU Dairy Store and other campus stores at shop.msu.edu

Cut Down On Trips

Plan your trips to the store and be prepared to purchase all the items you need.  Research products you want to purchase, their availability and price from home before traveling to the store to cut down on time, trips and gas use.

Tip: An alternative transportation solution is the Zip Car (www.zipcar.com/msu) program on campus.

Turn Down the Heat For Your Party

How many times have you been at a party where they had to open a window or door to let excess heat out?  Body heat and warmth generated from food preparation can quickly build up in a home.  Turn down the heat in your home prior to guests arriving to conserve energy.


Use Less Bags

Approximately 380 billion plastic bags are produced each year.  Reuse bags from home or purchase durable tote bags that can be used multiple times.

Tip:  You can buy reusable tote bags at the Surplus Store.

Give Handcrafted Gifts

Reduce waste by making handcrafted gifts from items around the home or repurposed items from the Surplus Store.

Tip: Need DIY and craft ideas?  Check out our Pinterest site.

Give the Gift of Education

Invest in a future Spartan’s education savings instead of buying material gifts.  College Savings Plans are easy to open and contribute to and are a great way to provide a lasting impact to a loved one.


Buy Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries cost a little more up front, but can be recharged hundreds of times resulting in big savings versus single-use batteries.  Rechargeable batteries are best used in moderate to high use devices such as digital cameras and WII remotes.

Tip:  When rechargeable batteries do eventually run out, recycle them.  Numerous local businesses and municipalities accept them.  Go to www.call2recycle.org/locations for recycling locations in the greater Lansing area.

Be a Surplustomer

There’s no better place to be green than at the Surplus Store where our products are 100% reused.

Reuse Packaging Peanuts

Packaging peanuts are collected by local UPS Stores, Pak Mail and others and reused in the shipping process.  The City of East Lansing has a list of options for reusing packaging peanuts.


Live-cut Christmas Trees

Christmas trees can be chipped and used as mulch around trees and on trails or used to make compost.  Most local municipalities accept live-cut trees for recycling.

Tip:  Earth 911 provides a list of local tree recycling locations including those in Lansing and East Lansing.

Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper can be recycled with mixed paper at our Public Recycling Drop off Site.  Please do not recycle foil wrapping paper.

Tip: Look for alternative materials for wrapping gifts such as fabric, comics, coloring pages, etc.

Christmas Cards

Recycle Christmas cards with mixed paper at the drop off site and purchase cards made with recycled content.  Better yet, send electronic greeting cards and reduce waste.

TIP:  Buy recycled greeting cards from St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.

For more ways to reduce holiday waste, go to: