OLYMPIA – County residents can get discounts of 15 percent to 50 percent on performing arts tickets, restaurants, gyms, massages, karate lessons and even car detailing services thanks to Thurston County 's Waste Free Holidays program. The program encourages people to purchase experiences instead of stuff to reduce the amount of garbage produced over the holidays.
Discounts are available through Dec. 31, 2006 by contacting participating businesses directly. Details are available on the Thurston County link on www.wastefreeholidays.com. Thurston County residents can also take advantage of discounts offered in other counties participating in the program.
"Our business partners are offering great experiences and services that friends and family members would rarely buy for themselves," said Amber Wells, environmental educator with the Thurston County Solid Waste Program. "Buyers can save money and help protect the environment at the same time."
Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day than during any other time of year. The food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons add about 1 million tons a week to the nation's waste stream. Meanwhile, advertising agencies spend more than $15 billion a year on advertising aimed at children.
"This is the perfect opportunity for parents to start weaning their children away from material overload by setting an example," said Wells. "Reducing consumer stress also helps families experience the real meaning of the holidays – a warm feeling inside that comes from doing something that makes a difference."
Visit www.wastefreeholidays.com or call Amber Wells at 754-3355 ext. 7669 for more ideas on waste free holiday gifts, creative wrapping, festive parties, and tree recycling.