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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogWe too often think of the environment as someone else’s problem—automobile manufacturers, oil refineries, and power plants, for example. But we each have a personal responsibility to help keep Mother Nature healthy and happy. We as individuals can contribute to a green, clean environment in more ways than you might expect. The Last Straw Did you know plastic straws are one of the most widespread environmental hazards? According to the article “Straws: Why They Seriously Suck,” more than 500 million straws are used daily in the U.S. Alone. They’re not biodegradable, and they can’t be recycled. But you can stop using them at home and/or switch to reusable straws. Carry reusable straws in your glove compartment and forgo the plastic in your next chocolate shake! Stash Your Trash The fact that how and where you dispose of your trash matters is an environmental no-brainer. You no doubt dispose of everything from paper to yard waste to bald tires. Dispose of those items the right way, recycling any- and everything you can via environmentally aware service providers like Tri-State Disposal. Many of these vendors will even supply dumpsters to safely dispose of large hauls. Single out Single Use Single-use items like sandwich bags and disposable razors represent a huge problem for the environment. You can reduce that problem by a) reusing single-use items, or not using them at all. There are, after all, so many sustainable alternatives: cloth shopping bags, ceramic go cups. You can even buy reusable sandwich wraps. Douse the Old Wood Stove Wood stoves generate carcinogenic particulate matter that can harm not only your family, but the whole neighborhood. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services lists wood stove smoke as a public health hazard and significant pollutant. The solution? Replace your old stove with an EPA-certified, clean-burning, efficient wood stove designed for complete combustion. Add Your Plants On the positive side, you can add to the planet’s environmental health by plugging in trees and native plants. Not only are they pretty, but they help clean the air. Plus, native plants—i.e., those native to your particular area—conserve water and benefit local wildlife. The bottom line is that the environment in which we live is important. It is not just for the health of the area, but for our own personal health as well. We are all responsible to protect and keep the environment clean as much as possible.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogIf you are in charge of waste disposal in your community, you will be responsible for making sure that waste products are disposed of in a manner that is green. Community waste products that are normally safe can become hazardous if they are not managed properly. For example, motor oil is normally safe, but can contaminate drinking water in large quantities. Even products that are not hazardous will fill up landfills. Renting a Dumpster When it is time for your community to dispose a lot of waste, it is important to do so in a rented dumpster from a company like Tri-State Disposal. Disposing of large quantities of waste in any other way would be terrible for the environment and may also be against dumping laws. More dumpsters can be rented as needed when the volume of garbage is larger than expected. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle The best way to make waste more manageable is to follow the three R's: reduce, reuse and recycle. While you cannot force residents of a community to perform these actions, you can remind residents and provide them with tips on how to achieve this ideal. To also ease the burden of disposing of hazardous waste, encourage residents to use safer alternatives. For killing pests, for example, encourage residents to use less toxic pest control methods such as the use of boric acid. Hazardous Waste Pickup Day Communities should implement programs in which residents can mail hazardous waste to a facility where the waste can then be disposed of. The hazardous waste should be kept separate from the regular trash. The type of products that need to be disposed of in a particular manner include: Household cleaners Garden chemicals Sharps Mercury Paint Batteries Automotive products Many of these products can be recycled. Others will need to be sued up and will then no longer need to be disposed of. For example, homeowners who need to dispose of household cleaners could simply give them to a neighbor to be used. Changing the habits of your community to make it more eco-conscious can be challenging, but with a little practice, your members of your community will make habits and good recycling practices of their own. Then, your community will reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and will protect the environment from hazardous waste.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogAlthough there are many ways to go green, it can be difficult to know how to take the first step. Luckily, there are many small and large scale ways to join the movement for a cleaner environment. Read on for some inspiring ideas about how to take initiative and make the world a greener, cleaner place. Read and Recycle Reading is an appealing past time, but buying books can become expensive and there is also the issue of what to do with them post reading. Why not practice recycling and support your local community at the same time? Donate gently used books to your local library and shop for new reading material at your local library's used book store, or at local yard sales. If you do not have a local library, consider setting up a book swap with friends. Instead of everyone having their own magazine subscriptions, set up a magazine trading circuit as well. Carpool Gas is expensive and everyone driving independently puts a strain on traffic and the environment. Look into sharing a ride to work or to run errands. Not only will it ease your gas budget and release less pollutants, but it just might make your traveling experiences more enjoyable. Eat Local Make it a habit to shop for foods at your local farmer's market or farm stand. The food that you find there is seasonal and fresh, and has not required excess gas and transportation to reach consumers. Consider also eating at small businesses that use local food products, or join a community supported agriculture program. Pursue an Environmental Career If you are choosing a career or changing career paths, consider looking into environmental law degrees. This is a way to impact the world around you by advocating for preservation of natural resources. It is a great choice for individuals interested in jobs that blend science and law. Set Up Online Bill Payment Junk mail is annoying and time consuming to pick up and sort through. The excess paper involved is also an environmental strain. Do yourself and the earth a big favor by streamlining and switching to an online bill payment system. Check Window Caulking It may seem minor, but deteriorated window caulking can allow warm and cool air to escape your home. This air release causes an increase in energy costs and unnecessary environmental demands. Use energy wisely and keep some extra money in your pocket by taking the time to check window caulking and replace it as needed. Clean with Non Toxic Products There is no reason to support chemical heavy cleaning product companies and further pollute the environment. Chances are, your cupboards already contain all the items you need to thoroughly clean your home. Simply check for practical items such as vinegar and baking soda, and get ready for a sparkling non-toxic living space. Make an earth friendly resolution today and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Choose from a myriad of small and large steps that give the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something beneficial. A greener cleaner environment really is worth the extra effort involved.