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Living Green Events for December

Post Date:12/13/2017


COMPOSTING: BREAKING IT DOWN TO THE BASICS - Easy steps to turn green waste into mulch! Placing organic mulches or compost around your plants is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure plants stay healthy, while also keeping weeds in check and reducing plant water needs.




Now through Jan. 5 Visit Downtown Mesa’s Merry Main Street activities and events and Shop Mesa while you’re there! Activities include a Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Jack Frost’s Food Truck Forest, Santa’s sELFie Village and Holiday Happenings at the Mesa Arts Center. Don’t forget the beautiful Christmas Lights on the Mesa Mormon Temple Grounds, open nightly from 5-10 p.m. from now until Dec. 31. All free! News update: Oh no! The Christmas Tree caught on fire this morning!  : O

Dec. 16, 4:30 p.m. Grand opening for state-of-the-art Pioneer Park: After being closed since May for a massive makeover, the opening celebration will take place at 526 E. Main St. Highlights include a multi-story playground, the historic Southern Pacific Train Engine (still under restoration), the Jack Frost Food Truck Forest and live music. This park has always had beautiful, mature trees, but 130 new ones have also been added.


Mesa breaks ground for new household hazardous waste facility: The City of Mesa officially broke ground on the construction of its new HHW facility. Once completed in Fall 2018, Mesa residents will have year-round access to dispose of their household hazardous waste material such as paint, automotive fluids, propane tanks and other hazardous chemicals.

TEXTILE RECYCLING PROGRAM! Are you aware of this program? The City of Mesa recycles textile materials that have reached their end of life cycle and can no longer be used for their original intended purpose (in other words, too worn to donate). Accepted items include clothing, shoes, linens, towels, hats, purses, belts and stuffed toys.

RECYCLE YOUR USED FRYER GREASE! Are you wondering what to do with the oil left over from frying your turkey? Use it to gas up someone's vehicle! Fire Stations in Mesa are now collecting the oil year round and a recycler will turn it into biodiesel. How cool is that?

TREECYCLE! ARE YOU DONE WITH THE HOLIDAYS ON DECEMBER 26? No worries. Mesa’s Christmas Tree Recycling Program starts on Dec. 26 and runs through Jan. 14. Don’t forget to “Treecycle” by bringing your tree to free drop-off locations. Collected trees are taken to the Salt River Landfill and chipped into nutrient-rich mulch.

Household Hazardous Waste Facility to Open Fall 2018

     A groundbreaking for a permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility took place in Nov. & is due to open Fall 2018!


Located at 212 E. 1st Ave., Mesa Urban Garden is a community organization whose mission is to inspire sustainable urban living through education, community involvement and creative cooperation. Bed rentals are available or you can also sponsor a bed. Harvests from sponsored beds are donated to United Food Bank in Mesa.

Looking for a creative gift idea that keeps on giving? Beds Rentals are available and would make a great gift for someone ready to plant their spring garden in January. Contact Laurie.

Learn more at or check out their new Instagram account.


Attention HOAs, Multifamily Properties & Commercial Properties: Are your water bills eating up your budget? Does your property need some updates? Tired of fixing outdated irrigation equipment? Mesa Water Conservation is offering up to $12,500 in incentives for irrigation equipment updates and grass conversions. Learn more!

Solar Resources Page is available to help you find links and assistance if considering how to go solar. It also highlights City of Mesa solar projects. Did you know that those located in the City of Mesa electric service area (not those with SRP service) can qualify for a solar rebate up to $1,000 for residential and $10,000 for commercial customers?

Fireplaces, Fire Pits, and Chimineas, OH MY! Did you know that smoke from residential burning at night causes some of the highest levels of particulates that cause the biggest health issues? Learn when it’s NOT OK To burn at Sign up for alerts so you’ll know just when the time is right to light your fire.

GET READY FOR FROST. While temps have been well above normal, we typical get a first frost about mid Dec. Learn about frost and how to protect your plants in a University of Arizona publication.


  • Gift wrap: Simple, non-embellished gift wrap can be recycled in the blue barrel.  However, when items such as Mylar, metallic foil, glitter and other non-paper embellishments are added, the gift wrap is no longer recyclable and should be disposed of in the regular trash.
  • Gift bags: Gift bags follow the same rule as gift wrap.  If they are plain, non-embellished bags, they can be recycled after any non-paper handles, which are not recyclable, have been removed. Of course, they can often be reused.
  • Tissue paper: Unfortunately, the fibers in tissue paper are so small that they cannot be recycled.  Therefore, tissue paper should be disposed of in the regular trash.  A better option is to minimize its use or reuse tissue paper for other purposes. You can also compost it. Learn more.

DO NOT PLACE THESE ITEMS IN YOUR BLUE BARREL PLEASE. Old holiday lights | Garden hoses | Electric cords | Plastic bags - These items get caught up in the recycling facility sorting equipment and have to be pulled out manually. That's why they are not allowed in the blue barrel. Take plastic bags to your participating grocer or retailer where they will recycle them.

Mesa’s Living Green SUSTAINABILITY SANTA ideas:

  • Garden Bed Lease at Mesa Urban Garden. A garden bed includes premium garden soil, irrigation and all water needed. The annual lease is $80 + a $40 one time setup fee. Contact Laurie
  • Membership at Mesa Museums/Arts Center/Gardens. Find memberships to the Arizona Natural History Museum, the i.d.e.a. Museum or to the Mesa Arts Center. Also consider Desert Botanical Garden or Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
  • Landscape Nursery Gift Card. We’ve got lots of great nurseries in Mesa, like Treeland, Greenfield Citrus Nursery, A&P, and Summer Winds.
  • Subscription to Green Living Magazine. This Arizona eco-conscious lifestyle magazine offers the latest in products, fashion, wellness, and home while enlivening you to make a difference in our environment. Learn more.
  • Book on Make-it-Yourself Natural Cleaners. One of my favorites is “The Organically Clean Home” by Becky Rapinchuk.
  • Nature or Earth-Friendly Books for Youth. Here are some great titles, The Lorax, We Are Here: Notes for Living On Planet Earth. Oh, and any titles from local author, Conrad J. Storad for amazing non-fiction fun books about science and nature.
  • Compost Crank. Hands down my favorite garden tools. Mine has lasted over 20 years and keeps my compost turned and aerated. It’s made by a company in Tucson called Lotech Products. Cost is $54 plus shipping.
  • Refillable Water Bottle. Find a good quality, insulated bottle to help someone kick the bottled water habit. One of my favorites is Hydro Flask.
  • Solar Oven. We've had demonstrations and classes on solar cooking and it's amazingly simple and will keep your kitchen cool. There are many types and price ranges. Learn more from local solar cooking enthusiast, Merry Bevill.
  • Anything with the WaterSense or ENERGY STAR Label. If buying any fixtures that use water, like a showerhead, a new toilet or a SMART irrigation controller, make sure it has the WaterSense label. If buying electronics, or appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label. These labels indicated that the item is independently tested to perform better and with more efficiency providing savings month after month even after your purchase. As they say, "The best gifts do great things."

Water Sense labelEnergy Star Logo

Thank you for being a subscriber this year... and for all of your sustainability efforts!

Be sure to also sign up for our Landscape Watering Reminder EMAIL ALERT. This alert provides timely landscape information and a watering frequency recommendation each month. We’ll even suggest when you can turn your controller off to save water after rain events. Go to our Email Lists page and select "Landscape Watering Reminder" and follow instructions.


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