Letter at Length

Waste zero: a challenge for 2013

A new year is upon us and that offers an opportunity for each of us to make adjustments or improvements (if you will) to choices that we make every single day.

During the year we forget that we can modify our habits 365 days of the year if we want. It may be to exercise more, be kinder to one another, eat less processed food, support more local businesses or, one of my personal favorites, generate less trash. Here are some ideas to support your efforts to have a smaller impact on the planet. Maybe you will be inspired to add these choices to your new year.

If you reduce or eliminate disposables (items you use only once), you will be well on your way to accomplishing a waste zero lifestyle.

Here are some green tips that may be helpful :

  • Bring your own mug for coffee or tea.
  • Drink local tap water in re-usable containers
  • Choose reusable cloth napkins, silverware, glasses and plates.
  • When shopping, bring your own bags and choose products minimally packaged.
  • Choose recycled-content products: paper, clothes, shoes, metal, plastics.
  • Buy or make birthday, anniversary and get-well cards from recycled paper. Reuse cards and resend as post cards or send electronic good wishes.
  • Use both sides of a sheet of paper.
  • Recycle and compost.
  • Never pour anything hazardous down a storm drain
  • Choose the least toxic product available
  • Ride a bike, walk, take the bus or carpool whenever possible
  • Use it up, wear it out, pass it on or do without it

This is not a complete list, but hopefully will provide some months of inspiration and guidance. Team up with your household, school classroom, business, athletic team, organization, meditation group or book club to strive toward these achievable changes. I look forward to helping you trouble-shoot the challenges and celebrate the accomplishments. We can do this, and together we can do it a little faster.

May 2013 move you closer toward all that you aspire to be.

Risa Buck, Waste Zero Specialist

Recology Ashland Sanitary Service

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