New Year’s resolutions to a greener you!

recycle logo for WebSo, the holidays are over and you feel obligated to make some New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you would like to lose weight, visit a new destination, spend more time with your family? Have you made a resolution for the environment? A national poll indicated that many of us have made resolutions to be a kinder person, so how about starting by being kinder to Mother Earth?

Here are a few suggestions to help you get started. Any one of these can have a major impact on the health of our planet.

  1. Recycling: I know, you all do your best to fill that blue bin you put out at the curb every week. But how about those items that cannot go in the blue bin? Explore options for items like batteries, light bulbs, small electronics and computer printer cartridges. Did you know that you can bring all of these items to the Zoo? You can drop off any of these items at the Green Gazebo across from the snow leopards every day that the Zoo is open. We also have several Go Green! Recycle Rallies throughout the year, too.
  2. Are you a faithful single-use coffee machine user? Have you been feeling the guilt from throwing away all those K-cups? The reusable/refillable cup is a good option, but if you like the variety in using the little disposable cups, let me offer a couple of suggestions of what to do instead of filling the landfill with them.
    1. Save them for starting seeds in the spring. You’ll save money not having to purchase new seed starting trays and the K-cups are the perfect size for starting your vegetable and flower seeds. Save the grounds inside to mix with your planting soil to make a great fertilizer!
    2. Make flavored ice cubes or juice pops for the kids. Summer is always a little more fun when you have fruity and/or decorative ice cubes in your beverages and the kids can make their own frozen concoctions.
    3. Visit your local farm market before hitting the grocery store each week. Chances are you’ll find a variety of produce, meats, cheeses and other locally produced items and save money while helping the environment.
    4. Be a greener cleaner. Instead of spending money on a ton of chemical cleaners, try some home recipes instead. Make sure to save the spray bottles from the chemicals you are replacing to fill with your new greener options! Click here for some great recipes!
    5. Donate items that you no longer need or want. Remember the old adage: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Your old clothing and household items can be put to use helping someone in need. Consider donating to your local goodwill organizations.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

- Tina Crandall-Gommel, Conservation Education Coordinator

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