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Resolve to do one more environmental thing in 2019- Reduce your impact, help save precious natural resources

Written by Donna Stuckert. Posted in Featured

Published on January 02, 2019 with No Comments

The New Year’s holiday gives everyone a chance to start over, or clean the slate. Most New Year’s resolutions involve improving personal well-being, finances, careers, education and overall self. What are your 2019 resolutions? Do you plan to lose weight? Perhaps you plan to quit smoking or start exercising?

Consider adding an environmental New Year’s resolution or two to improve not only your own personal well-being, but the well-being of others. For example, if you are not a recycler, resolve to become one. It’s easier than you think.

You’ll reduce your impact on the environment by diverting materials away from landfills and helping to save our precious natural resources. Find out what recycling opportunities are available to you by contacting your solid waste district:

Porter County: 219-465-3694, visitwww.ItMeansTheWorld.org, or email, info@ItMeansTheWorld.org

Lake County: 219-769-3820, visit www.lcswmd.com, or email, lcswmd@lcswmd.com

LaPorte County: 219-326-0014, visit www.solidwastedistrict.com, or email, aebaugh@solidwastedistrict.com

If you already recycle, what else can you do to help the planet?

The following list includes 10 easy New Year’s resolutions. Resolve to do one or more of these, as many of them are simple but have a substantial impact on the environment.

  1. 1.  Bring cloth reusable bags with you when you are shopping.Reducing your consumption of plastic bags means fewer bags will end up in our landfills. Don’t forget to take reusable bags with you to the malls when you go clothes shopping.
  2. 2.  Stop buying bottled water.Buy a reusable bottle, fill it up at your tap and carry it with you wherever you go. Use jugs if you need to bring more than a personal supply. Think of how much money you will save from not buying bottled water and how much plastic you won’t consume.
  3. 3.  Reduce your usage of paper towels and napkins.Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper ones and simply launder and reuse them. You’ll reduce the amount of paper that winds up in landfills and save money by buying less.
  4. 4.  In fact, as noted by the previous three points,reduce your overall consumption of disposable items.What items do you use once then throw away? For example, do you use paper plates because you hate washing dishes? Paper plates cannot be recycled because of food residue. You’ll save money and resources when you stop buying them. Do you use dryer sheets? Nix them. You won’t miss them.
  5. 5.  Replace your light bulbswith compact fluorescent or LED bulbs that last longer and can cut your energy use by as much as 85 percent.
  6. 6.  Take advantage of special recycling programs that are offered in your area. For example, if you have never attended a household hazardous waste collection event, make 2015 the year you attend these events and responsibly dispose of products with corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients. Check with your solid waste district to get the program lineup for the year.
  7. 7.  Switch to using only cold water when washing clothes, as most of the money you spend doing laundry goes toward heating the water.
  8. 8.  Resolve to conserve water and install rain barrels on your downspouts. Save and store some of the water Mother Nature provides and use it to water your flowers and gardens.
  9. 9.  Commit to buying used products or renting before you buy anything new.You can find everything from secondhand clothes to accessories to cars and furniture. You’ll save money and reduce the demand to create new items, saving resources.
  10. 10.  Buy items made of recycled materials whenever possibleto help increase the demand for recycling. The reason why recycling works is because companies buy the materials you throw in your bins to make their products. If no one is purchasing these products, there’s no need for them to use recycled materials. Recycling is market-driven supply and demand. Let’s help increase the demand for recycled materials by purchasing products made from them.

Many of the items on the list will save you some money, so if your New Year’s resolutions involve fiscal responsibility, your environmental resolutions will help you attain those goals.

One last reminder:the state of Indiana passed legislation in 2011 that prohibits households, public schools, and small businesses from mixing unwanted electronics with municipal waste that is intended for disposal at a landfill or by burning or incineration. If your disposal company refused to collect that television you placed at the curb, this is the reason why.

If you received new electronics for Christmas and are looking for a place to dispose of your old ones, there are plenty of recycling drop-off sites around you. Contact your solid waste district to locate the nearest facility. Accepted items include computers, tablets, cell phones, monitors, televisions, typewriters, copiers, PDAs, VCRs, fax machines, microwaves, scanners, gaming machines and anything with an electrical cord or run by batteries. Christmas light strands are also accepted.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily    e-mail DStuckert@ItMeansTheWorld.org.

 

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About Donna Stuckert

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Donna Stuckert is the Community Education Coordinator for the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County. She is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience who enjoys working for the greater good and inspiring others on making a difference. For more information or to reach Stuckert, e-mail DStuckert@ItMeansTheWorld.org.

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