The rise in greenhouse gasses is becoming more concerning with each passing day, and with that the need to be more environmentally friendly is starting to look more like a necessity rather than an option. There are a multitude of ways that you can be kinder to the environment, and a lot of them are ones that you probably already know.
Starting with the most obvious way to help the planet- reduce reuse and recycle. Cutting down on the waste you create and reusing what you can is one of the easiest ways to help the planet. So easy in fact that you probably have been doing it already. Instead of throwing away that peanut butter jar or that juice bottle, try reusing it, there are a multitude of ways to repurpose glass and plastic containers.
Although Montgomery County doesn’t have a designated recycling center that we could find information on there are still ways that you can recycle some of the waste you create. There are some grocery stores like Publix Supermarkets that have recycling bins for paper, certain plastics, and foam products (like egg cartons) outside of their stores for the public to use. Stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Kohls, Kroger, Lowe’s, and even Food Lion offer similar recycling services. Hillsboro High School has a recycling center behind the school; they take cardboard, paper, aluminum and metal cans, and plastic. If you aren’t sure where to go or how to find places to drop off these items there is an array of websites to help. For example, this one https://bagandfilmrecycling.org/view/fdod shows you where thin plastic recycling is available closest to you. This one https://how2recycle.info/sdo shows you how to recycle your items and gives information on those little symbols on drink cans and food containers and how to recycle them. Some of the trash companies located here in Montgomery County, offer recycling at different prices with different benefits depending on which company you use, information regarding trash services will be posted in a later blog.
Recycling is not limited to paper and plastics, there are other things that can be recycled and repurposed too- for instance clothes. We outgrow them, they wear thin with holes, or they just go out of fashion. There are ways to donate your clothes, options like Plato’s closet, Salvation Army, and Goodwill take clothes donations. Or if you are handy with a sewing machine, that old pair of pants could be turned into a purse or whatever else you want to create. There are a ton of sewing patterns on the internet that are specifically designed for repurposing old clothes into something new. Finding new ways to repurpose can lead to fun projects and new items that you made! Some stores like Best Buy will recycle specific electronics and appliances for you. Best Buy offers a pick up service for items like TVs that can be hard to move.
Another way to help the environment is to eat smarter. Creating a list before going to the grocery store and sticking to it can help tremendously when it comes to reducing food waste at home. If you do end up buying too much there is an array of places in Montgomery County that take on food donations. Places like the S.O.S. Food Pantry, Loaves and Fishes, and the Manna Café Ministries will accept food donations. Or you can test out your green thumb and try growing food during the summer months. Gardening makes for a really fun interactive project with a great pay off, plus stuff tastes better when it’s homegrown. Most big box stores like Lowes, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot start selling edible plants in the springtime.
Shopping environmentally friendly seems like a small act but in reality it is a big factor of our environmental issues. Try bringing reusable bags next time you go shopping, there are more upsides to reusable bags than regular plastic ones. They can carry more (meaning less trips), they don’t rip or tear on you while you are trying to bring your groceries inside, you can use them for more than just groceries- they make for a good pool bag/ gym bag/ sleep-over bag etc…
Speaking of reusable- try out a reusable water bottle. Recycle Across America says that Americans toss out 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, that’s definitely excessive. Not only is it wasteful but those plastic water bottles end up either in the ocean damaging the wildlife and their ecosystem or in a landfill with a ton of other stuff. Drop the plastic and switch over to something that can be fashionable, keep your drink cold or hot longer, and overall is better for the environment. Something so small really can make a big impact.
With the rising trend in environmentalism, a plethora of eco-friendly items have been introduced to the market. Items that replace single-use plastics such as reusable produce bags, lunch wraps, and even sandwich bags are becoming more popular and can now be found in brick and mortar stores. However, you can still order these items online, a great website to look into for eco-friendly and reusable items can be found here https://www.onyalife.com/eco-friendly-products/ .
There are tons and tons of ways to be more eco-conscious. Trying different modes of transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions like public transportation, biking, or even carpooling can make a difference. Being more energy efficient can not only help your electric bill but also the planet, it’s as simple as shutting off lights when you leave the room. Even stuff like phone chargers, microwaves, and televisions still use energy just from being plugged into an outlet, try unplugging them before leaving for the day. Small changes like this to your daily routine can help the planet so much. Talking about energy conservation, try reducing your water waste. Shutting off running water when brushing your teeth, taking a shower instead of a bath, using the ‘water saver’ mode on the dishwasher instead of ‘heavy wash’, can reduce your water bill tremendously while in addition to being eco friendly. Truthfully, it’s the little changes that begin to add up that can save not only a bill but the planet.
Becoming eco-friendly may not seem like it would make a big difference, but if everyone committed a little bit then the percentage of greenhouse gasses would drop tremendously. Small changes like a biodegradable toothbrush instead of a plastic one add up. Try making a change to being eco-friendly today.
If none of the aforementioned options are appealing to you, look into this article that lists 40 ways that you too can be more eco-conscious https://greatist.com/happiness/ways-help-environment .