Each year we celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Earth saving events take place and communities come together to do their part to pick up trash, plant trees, go plastic free and more. We all know we should be doing these practices more than once a year so we have compiled a short list of easy ways you can practice the Rs of sustainability.
Rethink - Stop and think what you really need.
Refuse – Say “no straw, please” or “no plastic cutlery needed” while ordering at restaurants.
Reduce – Lower your consumption by shutting down electronics and turning off lights when possible, use natural lighting. Buy less.
Repurpose – Transform items we would normally throw away into something useful. Dani King shares an idea below!
Reuse – Some things can be used again and again, be creative. Items that can easily be reused: boxes, shipping materials, wrapping paper, and bags.
Rot – An easy way to reduce food waste by composting organic waste. Our Clinton County Health Department has excellent resources on how to compost and minimize food waste.
Recycle – Recycling, although a healthy practice, should be a last resort as many recycled materials end up contaminated and then into local landfills. The most recycled materials are paper and cardboard.
Learn how to recycle >>
Learn what is accepted locally >>
Recycling data in the USA >>
According to the EPA, each person creates 4.9 pounds of trash! There is no such thing as "throwing it away." In 2018, 292.4 million tons of trash was created and 146.1 million tons ended up in our landfills.
Every January, the staff at TDC come together to create a list of BHAGS. Big, hairy, audacious goals. This year our goals include building a new industrial building, continuing professional development, and implementing more sustainable practices by reducing our waste. There are many easy ways for us to reduce our waste. Here are some changes we made so far:
There are many changes you can implement in your home and work life to ensure the health of our beautiful region, here are some small changes that some of our staff have made at home and at TDC.
We used to mail out hard copy packets for all our board and committee meetings. Many packets would consist of close to 25-30 pages, so on months when we had our Executive Committee and Full Board Meetings we would print out approximately 45 packets with 25-30 pages for a total of 1,350 pages or approximately 2.5 reams of paper. In the last year we began creating a PowerPoint presentation with our meeting materials and it is sent out and presented electronically. The only document we print out is a hard copy of is the agenda for our meetings.
I use anti-bacterial cleaning clothes at home. I no longer use chemicals to clean, just water and my specialty clothes.
I recently purchased a countertop composter which has significantly cut down my family's food waste. I've also started repurposing plastic bottles to make bird feeders as a fun recycling project to do with my son!
I take "little green steps" and I do my best to focus on what I need. I reuse/repurpose, buy less and buy anything plastic-free that I can. I shop at the North Country Co-op regularly and bring my own containers. I compost, I practice a "waste-less mentality" by again saying no to single-use plastics and I always BMOB (bring my own bag). I also make a lot of products myself such as deodorant, dry shampoo, hair spray, bronzer, toner, makeup remover, hair face masks and natural home cleaners. The best part is the money I have saved!!
If you'd like to get more involved in sustainable practices, please check out these resources.