Go Green or Go Home

by R.I. Lampus
Recycling Cans
"Going green" means educating yourself on environmentally-friendly choices to reduce human damage and taking the action to better our planet and live a more responsible life when it comes to the Earth. 
Listed below are just a few insightful ways to GO GREEN this Earth Day and beyond:
1. Rules – Make sure you know the rules to recycling so your efforts are worth it. 
  • A basic rule of thumb is to make sure all containers like plastic, glass, or even aluminum are clean and dry. Paper and cardboard should not be wet or soiled either if you plan on recycling them. If they are soiled in any way, you are better off composting them.
  • You should also make sure that you do not put recyclables in plastic bags inside of your recycling bin. Empty all recyclables straight into the can or bin to be picked up.
  • Any to-go containers or cups made with Polystyrene foam will not be accepted from curbside pick-up.
  • Check the link for further questions and more local information needed about recycling rules: https://www.wm.com/us/en/recycle-right/recycling-101
Recycle - Donations
2. Repurpose – try donating your old toys and clothes to give them new life and a 2nd chance. 
  • Many daycares and churches that have nurseries and preschools are always looking for gently used toys and books, so considered looking locally for places like this to donate toys before throwing them out.
  • Clothes are also a great item that can be repurposed. Finding local shelters that may need clothes for the less fortunate is a great starting place. Churches in your area can also give you resources for donating things such as clothes, jackets, shoes, and household items.
  • The Light of Life Rescue Mission is just one of many options for donating.
Recycle - Plastic Bottles
3. Reuse – Try to invest in going green by purchasing reusable things like water bottles, shopping bags & reusable containers.
  • The United States alone sends more than 38 billion water bottles to landfills a year, and each plastic bottle takes nearly 450 years to decompose entirely. It takes over 700 years for a plastic bag to degrade. 
  • A small step in the right direction is to invest in reusable water bottles for the entire family that can be filled up again and again. They also sell reusable straws to consider in your going-green efforts.
  • Another item that you can reuse is cloth shopping bags. You can bring the bags along with you to the store to do your shopping. Ask the store attendant to place your purchases in your reusable bags instead of plastic bags. If you run low on your own bags, ask the store staff if they have paper bags available for packaging your groceries.
4. Replace – try to substitute items in your home like paper towels for kitchen towels.
  • Another small way to go green this year is to ditch the paper products families tend to use in overabundance for items that can be used again & again. Paper towels are a perfect example of lowering your footprint. Instead of purchasing loads of paper towels to throw away, try buying kitchen towels that can be washed and used for years to come.
Family Recycling
5. Re-configure – Sit down with your family and look over the water, gas, and electric bills.
  • Together you can see where you can reduce the resources you are using and set new goals for using less of each. Make a commitment as a family to come up with a fun way to use the money you save from cutting back on overusing water, gas & electricity in your daily life.
Taking the time and efforts to ‘go green’ today will pay off for your family and others in the long run. Even the smallest of steps makes a difference, so don’t wait, because green means GO!

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