TIME TO TIDY UP ... Palo Alto will hold a Household Hazardous Waste Day on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Water Quality Control Plant, 2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto. Residents may drop off up to 125 pounds or 15 gallons of old paint, paint thinner, gasoline, pool chemicals, bleach — or asbestos, propane tanks or household injection needles. Not accepted: ammo, controlled substances, motor oil and antifreeze, car batteries or cooking oil and grease. Information (and complete list of what's acceptable and what's not): www.cityofpaloalto.org/hazwaste
PAST HOLIDAY HOME TOUR ... The 24th annual PAST (Palo Alto Stanford Heritage) house tour will be take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 at seven homes in the College Terrace neighborhood, as well as the library. Houses range from 625 to 4,000 square feet, and are in a variety of architectural styles. Tickets that day are $30 at the College Terrace Library, 2300 Wellesley St., Palo Alto. Information: www.pastheritage.org
SWAP HOLIDAY LIGHTS ... The City of Palo Alto is offering one free box of energy-efficient LED EnergyStar holiday lights to any resident who brings in an old string of working incandescent lights during December. Just bring them to City Hall, 3rd floor, Utility Marketing Services, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, Mondays through Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. According to the city's marketing literature, LED strands use 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than traditional lights. Information: www.cityofpaloalto.org/utilities or 650-329-2241
SAVE AND BAKE ... The City of Palo Alto is offering tips on how to save energy while preparing holiday meals, including: open oven doors as little as possible; use glass or ceramic dishes (lets you lower the cooking temperature by 25 degrees); if using a self-cleaning oven, do it immediately after cooking to take advantage of residual heat; cook as much as possible on a range top rather than an oven. Information (and many more tips): www.cityofpaloalto.org/smartenergy
TOYS FOR TOTS ... Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerages in Palo Alto — at 2745 Middlefield Road and 245 Lytton Ave., Suite 100 — and Menlo Park — at 800 El Camino Real, Suite 300, and 930 Santa Cruz Ave. — will be collecting new, unwrapped toys until Dec. 16. The toys will be picked up by members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve and distributed through local charitable organizations and social welfare agencies.
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