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Waste-Free Holiday Workshop planned for this weekend

Betty Shelley is best known as the lady who produces just one can of garbage a year. But she is also an expert on reducing waste during the holiday season, and that is why she will be presenting the Waste-Free Holiday Workshop on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Lake Oswego City Hall, 380 A Ave.

A recycling information specialist for Metro, Shelley first became a guru on garbage reduction. Later, when her husband was laid off just before the holiday season a few years ago, Shelley turned her talents to reducing waste and increasing joy at Christmas time. She will discuss many holiday topics, from decorations and food to packaging and presents, and show how to find the many creative and meaningful ways to reduce our waste.

“We changed our practices,” Shelley said. “We had a calmer, carefuller time instead of shopping at Toys ‘R’ Us at 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

“We need to remember we do have a choice during the holidays. We need to figure out what we like best. Too often moms try to be super moms by doing everything.”

Instead of running themselves ragged, people can roast hotdogs on an open fire or enjoy a cup of cocoa on a cozy couch. Shelley will be sharing her wisdom about waste-free packaging and suggesting alternative gift ideas, something that can be used and later recycled, instead of ending up in a landfill for decades.

Shelley will also share her waste prevention/holiday anecdotes.

“What is neat about Betty is that she is so approachable,” said Susan Millhauser, sustainability coordinator for the city of Lake Oswego. “She is a person people can easily relate to.”

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