Valley Ranch is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Holiday Lights Contest, sponsored by the Valley Ranch Residential Association. WIN CASH! ** Registration Required. Entries will be judged on creativity, showiness, originality, and installation difficulty. There are two categories: Single Family and Townhouse/Multi-Family. Prizes: 1st Place—$200, 2nd Place -$150.00, 3rd Place $100.00
If there are fewer than 10 entries only a single prize of $200.00 will be awarded. Judging will be from December 13th thru December 16th from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. LIGHTS MUST BE ON TO BE JUDGED. You can get the ballot here, or you may pick up ballots at the Holiday in the Park Tree Lighting on Friday, December 13th. We will also have ballots available at the Holiday Lights Bus Tour on Saturday, December 14th. Take the tour and judge the lights as you enjoy them.
Contest Rules Prizes Key Dates Voting Winners, Video & Photos
- Contestants must live in Valley Ranch.
- Contestants must register their home by contacting us before Friday, December 13th. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number in the email. Your information will not be shared in the contest. We will only use this information to contact the winners.
- Voting will start on Friday, December 13th and run through Monday, December 16th, noon.
- Contestants must have their lights on from 6 to 10 pm all 3 days.
- Voting is open to anyone in Valley Ranch.
- After the voting ends, if there is a tie, someone from the Valley Ranch special events committee will pick the winner. All decisions about the winners of this contest are final.
- If we have less than 10 contestants, only a single prize of $150 will be awarded.
- NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
- Board members and CCMC staff of the Valley Ranch Association are not eligible to enter, but they can vote.
- First Place: $200
- Second Place: $150
- Third Place: $100
- Holiday Lights Contest Friday, December 13th – 16th
- Voting Friday, December 13th – 16th
- Holiday Lights Bus Tour December 14th
- Winners will be selected, notified by phone, and posted here on December 18th
Download the ballot. Be sure to fill it out the ballot and return to the Valley Ranch Office by Monday, December 17th, noon. You can also join us on the Holiday Lights Bus Tour and complete your ballot on the bus.
Key Points about Holiday Recycling
- Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday season than any other time of year. This extra garbage amounts to 25 million tons of trash.
- If every family in the U.S. reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
- The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.
Supporting a Greener Holiday
The following are some of the tips you can follow this holiday season to reduce the waste and also have a lot of fun. Small choices add up and making one or two changes mentioned can help reduce waste and clutter.
- Holiday lights are the center piece of decorations. Some of the tips to consider this holiday season:
- Buy LED to save electricity and money.
- Evaluate and reduce unnecessary lighting to help conserve energy. The idea is to not go overboard with the lighting.
- Use timers to control the duration and the energy consumption.
- Purchase decorations from a thrift store to recycle and save.
- After holidays, store the decorations in an egg carton to reuse them the next year.
- Donate unwanted decorations to thrift store or local charity
Holiday cards while fun also generate a lot of waste. Consider the following to help reduce the waste this holiday season:
- Purchase responsibly manufactured cards with a higher recycled content.
- Cards that do not open up, to reduce the amount of used paper.
- Re-use old cards to make gift tags and decorations.
- Send your holiday greetings in electronic form. E-cards can be enhanced with sound and animation and they create no physical waste.
Gifts are an integral part of the holidays, who doesn’t look forward to receiving gifts during the holidays. Follow these tips to help reduce and manage the waste this holiday season:
- Use reusable shopping bags. This will reduce the number of plastic bags that get trashed and minimize the amount of petroleum used to make them. If you receive plastic bags, remember to recycle the clean ones at your local grocery store.
- Put gifts in reusable containers, wrap them in fabric or use boxes, paper and bows saved from last season.
- Buy recycled-content gift wrap or make your own from paper bags, newsprint, old maps or other paper you have on hand. You can paint, draw, stamp or print designs on the paper. Avoid using non-recyclable and reusable materials such as foil or plastic-coated paper and tissue.
- Shipping a gift? Reuse the foam peanuts from another package, or use unbuttered popcorn for packing. Return unwanted Styrofoam packing PEANUTS to local UPS Stores.
- Your city may offer option for recycling the gift wrappings and boxes. Please take a moment to contact them and follow the instructions.
Almost 40% of the food we purchase during holidays is wasted. Please follow the following tips to reduce the wastage during this Christmas
- Estimate correctly to avoid preparing large quantities of food.
- Send home guests with left-overs.
- Donate the excess food to homeless shelters.
- Use real dishes and cloth napkins to reduce the waste.
Traditionally-cut dead tree is not so sustainable. Consider the following options for your tree this holiday season:
- Live trees that can be replanted or used again
- Tree from a local grower who matures and harvests trees responsibly. This also helps sustain the local economy this holiday season!!
- Rent a Tree! Considering renting a tree especially if storage is limited in your house.
- Purchase a re-usable tree and ensure proper storage in offseason.
- Recycle the unwanted trees responsibly through the curb-side recycling program or by dropping it off at the tree disposal stations.
Fats Oils and Grease (FOG) Disposal
The holiday season means lots of cooking. Fats, oils and grease (FOG) create a huge problem for your pipes.
- When poured down the drain, FOG clogs the sewer system and causes backups or overflows. This increases the maintenance costs for the city in cleaning up and replacing the sewer pipes and also causes environmental hazards. Eventually, it costs the citizens more through higher rates.
- The typical sources for FOG include food scraps, meat fats, cooking oils, lard, baked goods, salad dressings, sauces and marinades.
- Fats, oils and grease should never be poured down the sink. Sink drains and garbage disposals are not designed to properly handle these materials. The general method of disposal of FOG is:
- Before washing, scrape and dry wipe pots, pans and dishes with paper towels and dispose of materials in the trash.
- Pour fats, oils and grease after it has cooled into a container, such as an empty glass jar or coffee can. Use sink strainers to catch food items, then empty the strainer into the trash.
- Take the container to a disposal station or leave it out for curb-side pick up.
- For smaller volumes (less than a quart), allow the oil to cool and solidify. You can also add some cat litter to the oil, so that it forms clumps that can be tossed into your garbage. Alternatively you can scrape it into your trash.
- Contact your local agency to find out more about the recycling options for disposal of FOG.
From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! In the midst of the Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a National Day of Thanksgiving. An excerpt from this historical proclamation reads, “The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies… It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving…”
Today, millions of Americans from every religious and cultural background come together with family and friends on the last Thursday of November to give thanks for the blessings of life. Happy Thanksgiving!
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Valley Ranch Association office will be closing at 3:00 PM, Wednesday, November 27, 2013, and will reopen Monday, December 2, 2013, for normal business hours. If you have a Valley Ranch emergency, please call 1-800-274-3165.
The City of Irving will not be collecting residential trash, curbside recycling, or brush on Thursday, November 28, and Friday, November 29, 2013.
CALLING ALL KIDS
Are you creative? Do you like to work with your hands? Do you have a flair for repurposing discarded objects? Then you will want to enter our first Recycle Art Contest for kids. All kids 14 and under are eligible to enter. Try your hand at recycled art, by forming your own trash sculptures or artistry drawings. These art works will be on display in the Valley Ranch office during April 2014. Winners will be announced during Earth Day week at the Valley Ranch Recycle Day on April 19. One grand winner and two runners-up will be awarded prizes.
Each entry must include the artist’s name as well as the name of the school he/she attends. Entries must be submitted to the Valley Ranch office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11, 2014. Parents are discouraged from helping. The goal is to call attention to the child’s creativity. If you are a resident child under the age of 14, living in either a residence or apartment complex, you are allowed to enter. Contest is open from January 1, 2014 through April 11, 2014. Winners will be announced on April 19, 2014.
- This contest will have two levels:
- Kids under age 7
- Kids ages 7-14
- Children under the age of 7 will have 2 options:
- Join the dots and color or
- Draw self portrait of themself recycling
Art forms will be provided and each child can submit only one.
- Parents can print “Join the dots and color” or “Self Portrait recycling” copies online, or obtain either from the Valley Ranch office.
- Kids 7-14 may enter the trash sculpture project. Creations must be made from clean trash.
- Applicants/Parents in both categories may drop off their entries at the HOA Office from March 31st – April 11th.
- The drawings/sculptures will be returned to the parents after the winner is declared. The Valley Ranch office will not be storing these entries.
- The winners will have an opportunity to have their photo taken which will then be published in future newsletters.
Are you a nervous wreck because you missed the Valley Ranch Recycle Day? Ranchview High School Key Club will be hosting a Goodwill Donation trailer to help with all of your holiday organizing needs!
December 2-6, 2013
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Northeast Corner, RHS Parking Lot
8401 Valley Ranch Parkway East
Irving, TX 75063
Most needed items include: clothes, shoes, games and toys, small sports equipment, small appliances, books, CDs, DVDs, housewares, jewelry and accessories, purses, and backpacks!
Join us for what has become one of most spectacular events of the Holiday Season here in Valley Ranch.
December 13, 2013
Mustang Recreation Center
2223 Kinwest Parkway
Irving, Texas 75063
We will have sweet treats, hot chocolate, holiday crafts, pictures with Santa and much more! Be sure to bring your camera to capture your childs special moment with Santa!
Don’t miss out on this landmark event as we welcome in the Holiday Season!
WE HAVE A WINNER! The Go Green Committee is pleased to announce the Best Seasonal Yard Award winner! Sue Binder and Lin Weidner of The Lakes in Valley Ranch will receive a $100 Gift Card and 30 days of bragging rights with the “Best Seasonal Yard Sign” posted in their yard for all to see. Help us congratulate them for doing such a fantastic job!
If you didn’t have a chance to enter or nominate someone for the Best Seasonal Yard Award, no worries! The next contest will be for the Spring 2014 season. Stay tuned for details!