The New Year’s holiday gives everyone a chance to start over. Most New Year’s resolutions involve improving personal well-being, finances, careers, education and overall self. What are your 2019 resolutions?
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, and we can help you!
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.
If you already recycle, what else can you do to help the planet? The following list includes 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Do you use straws? Refuse them!
- 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 2019 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.
- Switch to using only cold water when washing clothes, as most of the money you spend doing laundry goes toward heating the water.
- 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.
- 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!
- Buy items made of recycled materials whenever possible to 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.
- Resolve to learn how to compost! There are so many resources on the Internet to help you get started with your compost pile. It’s much easier than you think, and you’ll make a huge difference in the amount of food waste you send to the landfill.
- Do you belong to a community group? Why don’t you commit to cleaning up the environment by participating in the Adopt-A-County-Road Program. You’ll get some exercise, fresh air, and even notoriety: your group’s name will be listed on a road sign!
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!
Happy New Year from the staff at Porter County Recycling!